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First Senior Catholic Official Convicted For Covering Up Sexual Abuses

June 25, 2012

And it’s about damn time! Hopefully, we will see much more of this in the future.

From the New York Times:

PHILADELPHIA — Msgr. William J. Lynn, a former cardinal’s aide, was found guilty Friday of endangering children, becoming the first senior official of the Roman Catholic Church in the United States convicted of covering up sexual abuses by priests under his supervision.

The 12-member jury acquitted Monsignor Lynn, of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, of conspiracy and a second count of endangerment after a trial that prosecutors and victims rights groups called a turning point in the abuse scandals that have shaken the Catholic Church.

The single guilty verdict was widely seen as a victory for the district attorney’s office, which has been investigating the archdiocese aggressively since 2002, and it was hailed by victim advocates who have argued for years that senior church officials should be held accountable for concealing evidence and transferring predatory priests to unwary parishes.

Monsignor Lynn, 61, sat impassively as the jury foreman announced the verdicts, but relatives behind him were in tears. Judge M. Teresa Sarmina of the Common Pleas Court revoked his bail, and the monsignor stood up, removed his clerical jacket and was led by sheriff’s deputies to a holding cell area. His conviction, on the 13th day of deliberations, could result in a prison term of three-and-a-half to seven years; sentencing is set for Aug. 13.

The trial sent a sobering message to church officials and others overseeing children around the country. “I think that bishops and chancery officials understand that they will no longer get a pass on these types of crimes,” said Nicholas P. Cafardi, a professor of law at Duquesne University, a canon lawyer and frequent church adviser. “Priests who sexually abuse youngsters and the chancery officials who enabled it can expect criminal prosecution.”

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I assume–I hope!–anyone who visits this site frequently would agree: any person who sexually abuses a child deserves to be arrested. Period. Any priest or pastor, for any reason, in any position of authority, who has used their influence in any way, to sexually abuse a child should be arrested and put away for a very long time. Period.

But just as guilty are those who sat by–and apparently still do–and created an environment which facilitates child sexual predators, and have said nothing–nothing!–when those who were weaker in their congregations were being preyed upon and sexually molested.

They are just as responsible for these crimes. Sickening. To see a child being abused and not say something, or to send a priest somewhere else to unsuspecting families so he could do it again?!? How incredibly evil and twisted do you have to be to normalize a person raping a child and then facilitate him doing it again? How mentally and emotionally depraved and sick are these guys?

Protect the children; indict anyone involved in abusing them or who facilitated the abuse. Pretty simple.

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