Prosecutors seek to prove archdiocesan conspiracy
With the jury seated and one less defendant, the first case against a church official accused of covering up child sex abuse has moved into the courtroom, as a national audience turns its attention to the scandal in the Philadelphia archdiocese.
The trial for Msgr. William J. Lynn and Fr. James J. Brennan began March 26.
“This is a huge event for the entire church in the United States and really the world,” said Marci Hamilton, the Paul R. Verkuil Chair in Public Law at the Cardozo School of Law at New York’s Yeshiva University.
Lynn, 61, is the former secretary of clergy for the Philadelphia archdiocese, working under Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua from 1992 to 2004. He faces charges of felony child endangerment and conspiracy. The archdiocese has not been charged, but is listed by the prosecution as an unindicted co-conspirator.
Brennan is accused of raping a 14-year-old boy during a 1996 sleepover at Brennan’s apartment. Both he and Lynn have pleaded not guilty.
A third defendant, defrocked priest Edwa...
50 State AG Call for Grand Jury
Any investigation must be:
- independent of and separate from the church
- must have subpoena powers and ability to compel testimony under oath
Anything short of these criteria is a sham and whitewash.
In addition, write letters to the editor, make phone calls to politicians as they can apply pressure to keep them responsive to our demand. We need to make efforts to ensure that they follow up on what the state is doing to investigate these crimes.
The Attorneys General of forty states have inquired about the grand jury process in Pennsylvania. Let's get statewide investigations going in fifty states.
Note to Letter Writers
Use your own words and style of writing. Cut and paste from the templates as you wish. Include your experiences, whether as a survivor or as a member of the community. And relate your letter to the state you were abused in or state now living in.