Shredded-memo motion denied to defense in predator-priests trial

The discovery of Cardinal Anthony J. Bevilacqua's 1994 order to shred a memo about 35 Archdiocese of Philadelphia priests suspected of molesting children is no reason to dismiss the case against one of his key aides, a judge ruled Monday.

Common Pleas Court Judge M. Teresa Sarmina denied a bid by defense attorneys to drop the charges after prosecutors argued that the shredding directive and other recently unearthed files were the equivalent of "a smoking gun" that bolstered, not weakened, their case against Msgr. William J. Lynn.

The documents, they say, prove Lynn plotted with Bevilacqua, the longtime archbishop who died Jan. 31, and others to protect abusive priests and shield the church from lawsuits.

They said Lynn's attorneys misportrayed the files last week in a bid to try out a new strategy - "a combination of the dead-guys-did-it and the I-was-only-following-orders defenses" - and to sway potential jurors.

"Defendant has used this phony legal motion to falsely paint himself in a sympathetic light - as the pawn of a conspir...


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  • David O'Regan
    commented 2012-03-02 11:35:39 -0600
    Children’s lives have been and are to this day destroyed by abusive priests in the Roman Catholic Church. Bishop Cullen with full knowledge of the scope of the problem refuses to accept accountability claiming the cover up came from Cardinal Bevilacqua. This is the very heart of the problem. The hierarchy of this institution is corrupt from the top down. Bishops are given their positions not because they are holy, pious, and good leaders, they are given their positions because they have demonstrated to the leadership they will protect the institution whatever the cost (children’s lives).
    Catholic’s in the pews must not sit silently; they must demand accountability of its leadership. The corruption within must be weeded out. Begin by withholding donations that only feed the problem. Money is used to pay settlements, high priced defense lawyers and public relations firms. Put your donations to better use by supporting local food banks, or advocate groups that protect children. Support The Center for Constitutional Rights who have filed a complaint with the International Criminal Court on September 13, 2011, on behalf SNAP, a survivor-led support group for clergy sex abuse victims, urging the prosecutor to investigate the Vatican for crimes against humanity for tolerating and enabling the systematic and widespread concealing of rape and sexual violence throughout the world

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