First, we should all thank Billy Doe, his family, the police and the prosecutors whose courage made Lynn’s conviction possible. And we should thank prosecutors who plan to appeal this ruling. We of course hope the Pennsylvania Supreme Court will overturn it. And we call on Philly Catholic officials to keep Lynn permanently off the job or at least until this case is finally resolved.
Literally thousands of U.S. Catholic officials have done precisely what Msgr. Lynn did and were never even charged or exposed, much less convicted. And we believe that hundreds or thousands of chancery officials across the U.S. are doing – right now - exactly what Msgr. Lynn did.
Finally, finally, there’s a tiny, tiny ray of hope with this pope and the abuse/cover up crisis.
It’s not his signs of humility.
It’s not his compassionate words.
It’s not his touching gestures.
It’s his ever-so-slight snub of two dreadfully corrupt prelates – Cardinal Raymond Burke and Cardinal Justin Rigali.
Don’t believe it for a second.
Brisbane’s Catholic bishop claims he and his colleagues were “caught like rabbits in a headlight" regarding clergy sex crimes.
He also claims one case is a "dramatic failure of oversight" that showed a "spectacular bungling."
Two US media outlets today mentioned scandals over crimes against children. One involves 6,000 potential crimes in one jurisdiction. The other involves potentially 16 times that many likely predators.
Let’s compare them.
The New York Times reports that more than 6,000 possible crimes against children have not been investigated by state officials in Arizona.
Imagine this: A bank robber shoots and kills two people – first a custodian and a then a teller - as they run away seeking safety.
The criminal is held responsible for the custodian’s death but not for the teller’s death. Why?
Because when the bullet hit the custodian, he was on bank property but when the bullet hit the teller, she was actually standing on a public sidewalk.
Sometimes, I find hope in odd places, like the "international" of yesterday's New York Times.
On page one, there was a story about the hundreds of paintings that were stolen by Nazis and finally recovered decades later.
That’s how one of the most heroic whistleblowers in Catholic history describes her efforts to expose predators and protect kids.
“I didn’t do enough.”
What haunting words. That must send a chill up the spine of anyone who works – or worked - for any Catholic entity in Minnesota.