Conviction obtained in the Catholic abuse cover up

While much of the attention has focused on the guilty verdict in the Jerry Sandusky case, another case may have even greater long-term impact when it comes to the sexual abuse of children.

Monsignor William Lynn of Philadelphia, whose case I discussed before, was convicted of child endangerment because of his role in covering up abuse of children and could face 10 to 20 years in prison. He was acquitted of the charge of conspiracy. The jury was deadlocked on the rape and child endangerment charges of another priest James Brennan.

This verdict is significant for three reasons. One is because Lynn was not accused of abuse himself but of covering up the crime, and there is ground to think that a large number of senior clergy in the Catholic hierarchy are guilty of similar things. The second is that he is the highest ranking member of the Catholic Church in the US to be convicted of crimes involving abuse. The third is that the police and prosecutors seem to have overcome at least partially their ‘respect for religion’ nonsense and reluctance to treat religious leaders, especially high ranking ones, the way they treat other suspected criminals. The slowness of the Brooklyn district attorney to prosecute sexual abuse cases involving Orthodox Jews in the Brooklyn Hasidic community is an example of such reluctance. Shmarya Rosenberg has been chronicling all the abuses in that community.

All these factors must be causing sleepless nights for many high ranking religious people who were involved in such cover-ups and were effectively enablers of such acts.


  1. says

    Good afternoon Mano,

    May they all burn in… whoops, change that…

    May they all be kept from society for the maximum period of incarceration allowable under the law.

    Do all you can to make today a good day,


  2. left0ver1under says

    The real question is, has Lynn’s passport been revoked and the vatican prevented from issuing him one? He is most definiteyl a flight risk.

    Bernard Law and Paul Marcinkus both ran away from justice in the US and were allowed to hide in the vatican until the statute of limitations ran out for their crimes. I wouldn’t put it past the vatican to try it again.

  3. slc1 says

    The big problem with the Cardinal Law affair was the failure of the prosecutor in Massachusetts, Martha Coakley, to indite him for obstruction of justice and being an accessory after the fact. She claimed that there was no crime in the Massachusetts statutes of accessory after the fact, which he clearly was and that there was insufficient evidence to convict him of obstruction of justice. This is the same Martha Coakley who totally botched a run for the Senate to replace Edward Kennedy after his death.

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