PA--Victims applaud DA’s decision to appeal priest abuse case
For immediate release: Monday, Dec. 28, 2015
We’re grateful that Philly prosecutors continue defending the conviction of a high ranking Catholic official who helped conceal clergy sex crimes. We hope Seth Williams prevails in his latest move to hold Msgr. William Lynn responsible for his devious and hurtful cover ups.
The potential deterrence effect of this case – encouraging whistleblowing and discouraging cover ups in child sex cases – cannot be overstated. Nor can the case’s healing impact - on the thousands of victims of the 136 publicly accused Philly predator priests and the dozens of other predators whose identities remain hidden – be overstated.
It’s tragic that of the hundreds of current and former Philly Catholic officials who ignored or hid known and suspected child sex crimes, only one can apparently be prosecuted for this heinous wrongdoing. But we are grateful that Philly’s DA persists in his effort to hold that one cleric accountable. We wish prosecutors in other jurisdictions would show similar diligence.
A judge claims that evidence of widespread corruption by archdiocesan staff in child sex cases is prejudicial to Msgr. Lynn. Our view is that when an institution is riddled with deception, callousness and recklessness, such evidence is crucial and is the only way to expose and prevent more corruption.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. SNAP was founded in 1988 and has more than 20,000 members. Despite the word “priest” in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)