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More Justice…Good News

The following is an article someone sent me and it is just too good not share here.  For those that might have missed the current news on this I hope you enjoy!

“Church official sentenced in sex-abuse cover-up

Published: July 24, 2012 10:23 PM
By MARYCLAIRE DALE. The Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA — The first U.S. church official convicted of covering up sex-abuse claims against Roman Catholic priests was sentenced yesterday to 3 to 6 years in prison by a judge who said he “enabled monsters in clerical garb . . . to destroy the souls of children.”

Msgr. William Lynn, the former secretary for clergy in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, “helped many but also failed many” in his 36-year church career, Common Pleas Judge M. Teresa Sarmina said.

Lynn, who handled priest assignments and child sexual assault complaints from 1992 to 2004, was convicted last month of felony child endangerment for his oversight of now-defrocked priest Edward Avery. Avery is serving a 2 1/2- to 5-year sentence for sexually assaulting an altar boy in church in 1999.

Lynn’s lawyers had sought probation, arguing that few Pennsylvanians serve long prison terms for child endangerment and that their client shouldn’t serve more time than abusers like Avery. They plan to appeal the landmark conviction and seek bail while the lengthy appeals process unfolds.

Sarmina believed Lynn initially hoped to address the sex abuse problem and perhaps drafted a 1994 list of accused priests for that reason. But when Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua had the list destroyed, Lynn chose to obey his bishop, keeping quiet as children suffered, she said.

You knew full well what was right, Monsignor Lynn, but you chose wrong,” the judge said.

Lynn, 61, was acquitted last month of conspiracy and a second endangerment count involving a co-defendant, the Rev. James Brennan. The jury deadlocked on a 1996 abuse charge against Brennan, and prosecutors said Monday that they would retry him.

In 1992, a doctor told Lynn’s office that Avery had abused him years earlier. Lynn met with the doctor and sent Avery for treatment, but the church-run facility diagnosed an alcohol problem, not a sexual disorder. Avery was returned to ministry and sent to live in the northeast Philadelphia parish where the altar boy was assaulted in 1999.”

I have added the italics.  To have had the list of accused priests destroyed, and then obeying the bishop is the epitome of the Code of Silence in operation, not to mention pure evil and cowardice.  Just like Penn State, keeping the comfortable status-quo was like offering the children up as a burnt sacrifice so ‘we’ could stay happy.  Skewed values is a highly inadequate description.

Kudos to the judge who said “you knew full well what was right.”  Both Lynn and the bishop knew.  That God-light of right and wrong is within all of us.

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