Roman Catholic monsignor may face seven years in prison for felony child endangerment
A monsignor for the Roman Catholic Church awaits his sentencing for the way he handled complaints of Philadelphia priests who were abusing children.
Monsignor William Lynn may face seven years in prison for a felony child endangerment conviction.
Trib Live News reports that Lynn is the first American church official convicted in the scandal that has been going on in the Catholic Church for more than ten years.
“I believe that what Lynn did was done by just about every diocese,” said Terence McKiernan, president of BishopAccountability.org, which tracks priest-abuse cases. “In most cases, I think the vicar general was well informed, and also the bishop.”
Lynn was acquitted of conspiring with a predator-priest and others to cover up the complaints. Lynn was ordered to stay in jail even though his legal team requested house arrest.
CNN reports that Lynn’s defense team stated he tried to tell higher ranking officials what was going on and by strict orders of Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua, they had no authority to remove the priests from the ministry.
Reverend James Brennan was accused of attempted rape of a 14-year-old but the jury was unable to bring a verdict against him. He will be retried on August 14.
“James Brennan used his position as a priest to prey upon and victimize” a young man, District Attorney Seth Williams said in a written statement. “It is extremely important that Brennan be held accountable for his crime, not just for his victim but for all victims of sexual abuse.”