Last week, Monsignor William Lynn, a Roman Catholic church official, was convicted of child endangerment--though acquitted of conspiracy--in an historic ruling in the clergy-abuse trails. Lynn now has the distinction of being the first U.S. church official convicted of a crime for how he handled abuse claims.
Such an honor.
See, the good monsignor aided and abetted the archdiocese in keeping known predators in the ministry--while shielding the public's prying eyes from his evil deeds--by deceiving the congregation with tales of how these priests, these pedophiles, these child rapists, these child molesters, were being removed for "health reasons".
Sadly, Monsignor Lynn would have faced about 10 to 20 years in prison if he'd been convicted of all three counts--conspiracy and two counts of child endangerment--but he was only found guilty on one child endangerment charge and may end up serving a seven year sentence.
For protecting pedophiles.
Lynn's reasoning behind his deeds was the claim that he did everything he could to stop the pedophiles, but, in the end, his job called for merely reassigning the rapists to other parishes. I guess the thought of calling the police to report a priest had raped a small boy wasn't one of his options.
On the stand, Monsignor Lynn recalled how he never helped a 10-year-old altar boy who had been raped by Reverend Edward Avery in 1999, even though that attack came seven years after Lynn met with another Avery accuser. Lynn now says, “And I'm sorry about that.”
We're all sorry about that.
One of the key pieces if evidence against Lynn was a folder which contained a list of 35 suspected predator-priests and was compiled by Lynn back in 1994.
Eighteen years he knew about pedophile priests and did nothing; for eighteen years he had their names and did nothing to protect the children because he was too busy protecting the priests.
Lynn created the list from secret church files containing hundreds...hundreds...of child sex-abuse complaints. He says now that he had hoped hoped Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua would have addressed the crisis but, well, he did nothing about that.
Oh, don't get him wrong; Monsignor Lynn still maintains that he did more than his colleagues to help victims and advance the church's response to both accusers and the accused priests, but really all he did was save the priests, after he sent them off to be "evaluated" or "treated" for their pedophilia, and then sent them off to new parishes.
How nice that he did that, for the priests; helping them seek treatment and yet, really, letting unknown numbers of children suffer the abuse. Lynn could have called the police, and he could have resigned his post, which is something probably any normal person would do if they stumbled upon someone raping a child, but Lynn chose to do nothing.
He chose silence, over the lives of children.
He chose the Catholic Church over the innocents.
And he'll pay for it. Now. Finally.
via US News