‘Somebody lied to me’ about list of priests suspected of abuse!

Monsignor William Lynn

A lawyer for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia testified Monday that church officials lied to him about the whereabouts of a hidden list of 35 priests suspected of sexually abusing children.

“Everyone I spoke to said they didn’t know where it was,” Timothy Coyne, former director of legal services for the archdiocese, told jurors at the landmark child sexual abuse and conspiracy trial of two Philadelphia priests. “Somebody lied to me…”

One safe drilled open by a locksmith contained an accordion-style file folder that housed a memo ordering the shredding of the list of 35 Catholic priests accused or found guilty of sexual misconduct, the list of priests and other personnel documents…

Both the memo and list were in the safe. That memo remains a contested piece of evidence in the child sexual abuse and conspiracy trial of two Philadelphia priests. It was discovered in February, shortly after Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua died in January.

The fate of one of them, Monsignor William Lynn, may depend on whether jurors believe the list he compiled proves he transferred suspected priests or, as the defense claims, he informed his superiors that clergy members were assaulting children…

On trial are the Rev. James Brennan, who is accused of the attempted rape of a 14-year-old, and Lynn, who is accused of covering it up…

Prosecutors are using the memo, the list of priests — and testimony from a host of witnesses with allegations against priests who are not on trial — to build their case that Lynn knowingly shuffled predator priests to unwitting parishes.

Lynn’s attorneys said the documents show that Lynn had informed his superiors — including Bevilacqua — that priests in the archdiocese were assaulting children…

I won’t wander of into what-ifs and what-should’ve-been. But, reflect on your own which of those scenario seems likely – given that nothing was done about the priests who were abusing children – after mention of the existence of this list?

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