The long legal saga involving the highest-ranking Catholic church official ever charged and convicted in connection to the church’s child sex abuse scandal is nearly over.
The questions and moral dilemma that have swirled around this most controversial case? Far from it.
Msgr. William Lynn has now been behind bars for three years after being convicted of a single charge of endangering the welfare of children for his actions involving a suspected predator priest.
Make no mistake, Lynn was never charged as an abuser. His “sin” – in legal terms – was connected to his role as secretary of the clergy for the archdiocese of Philadelphia, where he served under Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua. It was in that role that he faced charges connected to his supervisory role over a priest accused of sexually abusing children. In effect, the district attorney alleged Lynn enabled pedophile priests, assigning them to new parishes, where they likely molested more children.
A grand jury report gave a damning version of church policy in connection with problem priests, in effect saying the church routinely moved predator priests from one parish to another, with no warning to parishioners about the priests’ past, thus putting more children at risk.
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