As the last prosecution witness in the Philadelphia priest sex-abuse trial took the stand last week, the jury was told about an Archdiocese of Philadelphia document turned over to prosecutors.
That document suggested the late Cardinal Anthony J. Bevilacqua and other Pennsylvania bishops formed an ad hoc committee to "better protect ... from civil law discovery" secret-archive files of priests with a history of problems, including of allegations of sexually abusing minors.
The Catholic Archdiocese of Philadelphia kept sensitive personnel files in "secret archives," trial witnesses have said on several occasions.
The document that jurors were shown Wednesday was the only mention of that committee, and the rest of the day's testimony focused on defendant Monsignor William J. Lynn's compilation of a list of 35 priests who had reporte...
Annette Nestler-SNAP Southern New Jersey