Awaiting Judge’s Decision on Evidence in Msgr. Lynn Case


Note the defense’s statement  in the article below that several allegations “came to light” after Lynn’s tenure. Perhaps that was because it was so well hidden by a system that didn’t properly deal with its problems.

Click here to read today’s breaking news: “Prosecutors, lawyers spar in priest sex abuse case,” by John P. Martin, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Jan. 23, 2012

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37 Responses to “Awaiting Judge’s Decision on Evidence in Msgr. Lynn Case”

  1. Again, diplomatic immunity came into the equasion here. Lynn and other members of the hierarchy, [world wide], were under orders from Rome, and when this was being persued, and in America on record, ultimately supported thanks to President Bush, looking for political support.
    Judge orders quick trial in Philadelphia church sex abuse case, Dave Warner March 25 2011 is a good reference.
    Cath News March 4 2005. Vatican asks Condaleesa Rice to help stop sex abuse lawsuite, makes interesting reading too.

  2. My personal favorite is the judge asking the prosecutor if he would characterize the AD as an ‘unindicted co-conspirator’. The answer was yes…..the hearing continues tomorrow.

    http://www.newsday.com/news/nation/pa-archdiocese-named-unindicted-co-conspirator-1.3473024

    • Since Joan cited my personal favorite, allow me to go to my second personal favorite.

      It’s Donna Farrell, the AD spokesperson, who can’t speak due to the gag order. Clearly, she’s the queen of gags, if the AD isn’t gagging her, the courts are.

      Gag me.

      • Actually Hadit, I’ m rather fond of the judge’s remarks in the midst of a really ugly set of details, where she comments relative to out of control priest behaviour, ‘it doesn’t sound like anybody had any control of anybody”

        Boy, does that sum it up!

      • Joan, I’m not fond of the remark…they controlled EVERYTHING except the pedophilia. They controlled what parishes the perps served, what schools they allowed them to hunt their next victims, how long they stayed or how short they stayed at each location. They made the decisions about treatment or lack thereof and what would happen when a victim came forward.

        I don’t want anyone thinking these criminals didn’t have control of anything…what they could control…they didn’t and what they couldn’t control they tried to silence.

      • SW,

        You are talking about one kind of control, and Joan and the judge are talking about another.

        The kind of “control” you are referring to entails deception, manipulation, domination and repression. Your kind of control was pervasive!

        Joan and the judge mean a kind of control that is within the parameters of good governance, operating an organization according to laws and morality, administering responsibly, in command of one’s duties, aware of, attentive to and responsive to the activities within the organization one has been called upon to oversee. To the judge, “it doesn’t sound like anybody had any control of anybody.” The lack of her kind of control was pervasive!

      • Hadit,
        I’ll have to re-read your post to absorb it.

        I think I understand what you are saying.

      • SW,

        You are right, and Joan and the judge are right.

        As you say, the kind of control going on was deceptive and manipulating. As Joan and the judge note, (amidst all of the deception and manipulating,) nobody was controlling responsibly, according to one’s official duties, or according to good governance.

      • Thanks Hadit….

        SW to put the judges remarks in context and my support of them….here is the dialogue relative to an out of control situation where the accused priest was all over the map :

        “Prosecutors faulted Lynn for not investigating the living arrangements before Brennan had the chance to abuse others.
        “If you saw what was in (his personnel) files, it should have raised some bells and whistles,” Cipolletti argued.

        Bergstrom said the abuse charged in the case occurred later, at Brennan’s private residence, during his mid-1990s leave.
        “Father Lynn had no control over what Father Brennan did or didn’t do,” Bergstrom complained.

        “It doesn’t sound like anybody had any control over anybody,” the judge said.”

        I read the judge as commenting on a management disaster, and supervisorial quagmire. Proper AD management would have exercised ‘control’.

        This sewer of abuse and upcoming trials, can be laid squarely at the feet of a totally ‘out of control’ (in terms of proper management behaviour) AD. And so many many innocent children over so many years were greviously hurt!

      • And there is one more thing, while we are on the subject of ‘good governance and proper management controls’ of dioceses and archdioceses, throughout the nation.

        In my view, institutional church has gotten away with appalling crimes of abuse and predator passing on, because their ‘management systems’ resemble Swiss cheese, and are in no way proper management systems.

        For a local version of the cheese, all you have to do is read the RESOURCES link at the top of this page relating to grand jury reports for both 2005 and 2011, especially the sections on oversight and Msgr Lynn.

        Heavily documented claims against predator priests, unless the priest specifically confessed were found to be non credible by Cardinals, Diocesan Review boards did not ‘substantiate’ credible claims. The AD reported itself to be in compliance with the Dallas Charter, when 63 priests were identified by the GJ in 2005 and another 41 in 2011.

        Msgr Lynn is the first episcopal manager of clergy to be both indicted and criminally charged with conspiracy and child endangerment. It is an extremely important case. If Msgr Lynn is convicted, it is the beginning of restoring ‘proper management procedures’ in the AD and hopefully, perhaps based on fear, in the other dioceses and archdioceses throughout the nation.

      • Abuse Tracker notes a really good article relating to yesterday’s pre trial hearing and much of the blog discussion.

        The title is The End of the Mystique….

        http://www.bobfelton.com/?p=16450

      • Who knows what she intended but I heard the judge’s quote (nobody had any control over anybody) as saying something like this: “You expect me to believe that no one had control over anyone or anything?”

        If she was raised Catholic, she knows that any claims of a laissez-faire management style are preposterous. I heard her acknowledging what Survivorswife’s said: they controlled EVERYTHING.

      • Prosecutors are fighting hard to get evidence of previous Lynn behaviour introduced as evidence because:

        “Prosecutors want to introduce the evidence under trial rules that allow jurors to hear past evidence of a defendant’s bad acts if that conduct can explain his motives, knowledge, intent, or a pattern.

        They cited memos and testimony that they said showed Lynn and others repeatedly chose to ignore signals of child sex abuse and failed to alert parishioners and police when they suspected or identified abusive priests.

        “It was a willful blindness, your honor,” Assistant District Attorney Mark Cipolletti said. “He turned a blind eye to this.”

      • I’d like to revisit the reasons the prosecutors want Msgr Lynn’s previous behaviour admitted as evidence!

        “Prosecutors want to introduce the evidence under trial rules that allow jurors to hear past evidence of a defendants bad acts IF THAT CONDUCT CAN EXPLAIN HIS MOTIVES, KNOWLEDGE, INTENT, OR A PATTERN.” ( caps are mine)

        I think this is a critical issue. Any reader of the RESOURCES section at the top of this page detailing Msgr Lynn’s behaviour as noted in both the Grand Jury reports of 2005 and 2011, would have difficulty being in any doubt regarding Msgr Lynn’s knowledge, intent or pattern (of behaviour). I leave the motive issue to Msgr Lynn and God.

  3. Just saw this posted on Facebook. Any thoughts? I suspect that there will be much more just like this statement in the coming months. Smoke and mirrors………..

    I wish that Dolan had said “Love for Jesus must be the passion of our lives”. Instead he encourages us to embrace “Her” the church. Following is the post:

    US Bishops urged to communicate Church’s good words and works.
    Archbishop (soon to be Cardinal) Timothy Dolan of New York called on his fellow bishops to communicate to the world that the sinfulness of the Church’s members is not a reason to dismiss the Church or her eternal truths, but to embrace her all the more”. “Love for Jesus and his Church must be the passion of our lives.” The Church dares the world to foster and protect the inviolable dignity of the human person and human life; … to protect marriage and family; to embrace those suffering and struggling; to prefer service to selfishness; and never, ever to stifle the liberty to quench the deep-down thirst for the divine.”

    • Donna Marie, one way of loving the Church is to robustly call HER to honesty.

      • I have always said, it’s sacreligious to refer to the church as “Her”, considering how “she” treats “Her ” innocent and most vulnerable and in many cases “fatherless” children.
        Nothing at all to do with the True Fatherhood of God.

      • L. Newington
        I was listening to Mother Teresa speaking and she was talking about Jesus and she said Jesus told her whatever you do” you do it to me(Jesus)” So when these priests voilate children they are in fact violating Jesus as well as the heirachy coverups……..they are doing this to Jesus……..this thought it me like lightening today.

      • “hit” me like lightening

      • beth,

        When you note Mother Theresa’s analogy likening the hurting of vulnerable children to hurting Jesus, it brings new meaning to the hideousness of the crime. I understand how it hit you like lightening, and I understand your implied respect and reverence for the thoughts and work of Mother Theresa. But it causes me to ask you, were you hit like lightening, and did it affect your view of Mother Theresa, when it was divulged, through her own words, after her death, that she struggled deeply and incessantly with faith and doubt for more than a half of century?

        I just wondered your thoughts on this.

      • Hadit Catholic was I surprised she struggled and doubted no we all struggle and doubt this is not our home or our final resting place. I read of her struggles………her struggles give me hope…..she loved even in the darkness…suffering helps one understand just how much Jesus loved(loves) us it purifies us til all that is left is Jesus then we get to finally meet him which must be so awesome. ” I am restless til I rest in you” St. Augustine I believe.

      • Hadit everytime I have suffered a great loss or experienced something tragic and push through though I might have struggles and doubts I understand in a small part how Jesus suffered for us and how he must have loved us to suffer so…….does that make sense? The beauty of real love is that death nor darkness cannot ever destroy it. I guess that is what I believe of her time of darkness.

      • Beth, your comments relative to Mother Theresa, and your own ‘take’ on it are stunning. I want to thank you, a LOT. Joan

      • beth,

        You always give me so much to think about.

        Interesting when you say that seeing Jesus must be awesome.

        What marvels me most about Mother Theresa was her capacity to love, and her relentless attention to her mission, when darkness conflicted her. Normally, darkness turns us away and inward. The fact that she was not afflicted in this way I find almost inconceivable. At the same time, I believe her love and her mission acted as anecdotes to her darkness.

        Thanks for your insights, beth.

      • You know Hadit, while it clearly is not the business of C4C, yours and Beth’s comments about Mother Theresa’s periods of ‘darkness’ remind me that folks on a spiritual journey, often experience that ‘darkness’…I’ll spare you all the references.

        But I am a great fan of Richard Rohr, a man who clearly understands the darkness phenomena. he is a priest from the same order as the AB, and on another end of that continuum. His most recent book, Falling Upward, is one that I value highly and think you and Beth might like.

        Just a thought, Joan

      • Yes Hadit she remained faithful despite her darkness. Joan I have read many books where Saints experienced the same darkness so I know what you are saying. Thanks I will read that book. I love to read especially topics like this.

    • Donna Marie,

      The best responder to your post would be Gloria Sullivan.

      Take it away Gloria.

  4. I suppose beth, they believe protecting the church is protecting Christ. With all their theology, Magesterium, Canon Law and years of study that merits them with initials after their names, they’ve missed the point.
    It’s hard to believe at some stage in their young lives, they sat on their mother’s knee as beloved children learning the simple tenets of their faith.

    • LNewington ,my thoughts exactly.

    • I agree L. Newington. I was reading a very interesting book about catholicism and in it Pope John Paul ironically was saying discpleship should be more important than authority when it comes to the church. I think the heirarchy is too busy trying to protect it’s power and authority and not enough time making sure the basics in the Gospel according to Christ are relayed by the Bishops to thel laity and that the Bishops actually live the Gospel.

  5. Sadly similar to Lynn is all the hoopla about JoePa. At present, I am awaiting news that JoPa is in the process of being on the list for sainthood … perhaps he will be declared the saint of passing the buck ….

    • Theresa,

      Since John Paul II is on the fast-track to sainthood, and he passed the buck, very likely JoPa will get the same, blind, rock-star treatment.

    • I can see how a parallel can be drawn between the RCC and Penn State, or any other organization when it comes to behaving morally (all organizations have an obligation to follow a standard of right behavior.)

      However, based upon Scripture and Tradition, handed down through Apostolic Succession, the Church’s primary mission is to transmit the teachings of Jesus Christ, i.e., morality. This is not the case with any other organization.

      While all organizations have an obligation to behave morally, they can not be held to the same moral standard as the RCC. Her own self-proclaimed Teaching Authority sets Her a part from all other organizations.

      The RCC must be a held to a higher standard based upon the fact that She Herself claims to be the final authority regarding faith and morals on earth.

      While there is a parallel between the RCC and Penn State in the area of the sexual abuse of children, there is also an enormous chasm that separates them. Penn State never claimed to be infallible in the realm of Faith and Morals; the RCC still makes that claim.

  6. GET THIS: A past priest predator, Fr. Gerald Chambers (dec.) from St. Gregory’s parish in West Phiily had, over a ten year period, 21 assignments, with the final placement in a BOY’S ORPHANAGE. Surely, someone from priest’s personnel had to know of his perversion back in the 1950’s. Multiple altar servers were sexually abused by this priest at St. Gregory’s. Chambers was never charged. This was only one parish. How many other victims of this predator remain unknown. Isn’t it clear that there was a culture of deceit, and cover-up. Clearly, the Archdiocese is responsible.

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