PHILADELPHIA: Top Catholic Official Sentenced To Prison For Abuse Cover-Up
Monsignor William Lynn was sentenced to three to six years in prison today by a Philadelphia court for his role in hiding years of child molestation by priests under his command. Lynn is the first-ever American Catholic official ordered to prison for shielding pedophiles but not committing any abuses himself.
“You knew full well what was right, Monsignor Lynn, but you chose wrong,” said Common Pleas Judge M. Teresa Sarmina as she imposed the sentence, which was just short of the maximum of three and a half to seven years. Monsignor Lynn, 61, a former Cardinal’s aide, was found guilty on June 22 of one count of endangering a child, after a trial lasting more than two months that revealed an effort lasting decades by the Philadelphia archdiocese to play down accusations of child sexual abuse and avoid scandal. Monsignor Lynn served as secretary for clergy for the 1.5 million-member archdiocese from 1992 to 2004, recommending priest assignments and investigating abuse complaints. During the trial, prosecutors presented evidence that he had shielded predatory priests, sometimes transferring them to unwary new parishes, and lied to the public to avoid bad publicity and lawsuits.Lynn's lawyers immediately vowed to appeal the sentence, arguing that the statute of limitations had expired on the priests who committed the crimes while under his supervision. Stand by for Bill Donohue's howls of outrage.