Ralph Cipriano: Catholic Abuse Convictions Don’t Add Up

The Philly Post

Joel Mathis

Well, this is interesting. Ralph Cipriano—the same reporter who once sued his bosses at the Philadelphia Inquirer for libel over his aggressive coverage of the Catholic Church in Philadelphia—has a piece in the National Catholic Reporter, suggesting that Msgr. William Lynn, convicted last year of helping cover up the abuse of children by priests in the Philadelphia diocese, was wrongly convicted.

At the center of Cipriano’s case is this: Lynn was convicted of covering up the abuse of a boy—known at trial as “Billy Doe“—by then-Rev. Edward Avery. But Avery, now defrocked, still denies committing the crime. He says he pleaded to charges in the case in order to avoid dying in prison if convicted.

Cipriano, who has also contributed to PhillyMag writes:

It was Avery’s guilty plea that led to the June 22, 2012, conviction of Lynn for endangering the welfare of a child, namely Billy Doe.

It was the first time in the nation that a member of the Catholic hierarchy had been convicted and sent to jail, not for touching a child, but for transferring a known abuser priest from one parish to another, while failing to adequately supervise him.

But if you believe Avery, Lynn is sitting in jail for a crime that never happened. And he’s not the only one.

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