Monsignor William Lynn Testifies in Sex-Abuse Case

By Elizabeth Fiedler
The Newsworks
May 23, 2012

Monsignor William Lynn walks to the Criminal Justice Center.

A high-ranking church official accused of transferring sexual-predator priests to unwitting parishes is testifying in his own defense in a groundbreaking Philadelphia clergy sex-abuse trial.

Monsignor William Lynn took the stand just after 11 a.m. Appearing calm and composed, Lynn said when he took the job for secretary for clergy, he expected he would take care of the priests and their needs, but he did not anticipate he would be so involved in investigating the allegations of sexual abuse by priests.

Lynn also said that he followed the reporting chain of command, and that it was the cardinal's decision to decide if a priest should be transferred.

Lynn is the first Roman Catholic official in the U.S. charged for allegedly helping the church bury abuse complaints.

Prosecutors say he failed to weed out two priests charged with sexually assaulting teen boys. One of the priests has pleaded guilty, and the other is on trial with Lynn.

Several of Lynn's colleagues have testified in his defense, saying Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua called the shots.

Bevilacqua died in January, before the trial began.


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