Jury Selection Begins in Msgr. Lynn’s Trial

Click here to read: “Jury selection to begin in Philadelphia church abuse scandal,” by Dave Warner for Reuters, Feb. 20, 2012


“Lynn, rather than call law enforcement or remove priests accused of misconduct from their posts, ‘routinely and knowingly placed abusive priests in positions where they would have continued access to children,’ said a grand jury report released in January 2011. The grand jury said Lynn, 61, did so under direction of Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua, who died on January 31 at age 88. Lynn was secretary of the clergy under Bevilacqua.”

27 thoughts on “Jury Selection Begins in Msgr. Lynn’s Trial

  1. its like taking arsonist from a burning house and moving him to another house with a supply of matches and gasoline and then asking him not to set the fire and after the second house burns down saying “i didnt think he would do it again so i have no responsibility for this”

  2. Why must it always take the legal system for Catholic leaders to do the “right thing” ie. protect chlidren and stop protecting rapists/molesters? To me, this is the crux of all og this garbage.

    1. Mother Hen, it is noteworthy and encouraging that some Catholics are pursuing more than legal actions.

      For example, in Austria, the former top aide to Vienna’s cardinal is effectively leading a revolt with widespread support from priests and lay Catholics.

      Let us hope and pray one of Chaput’s top aides will also show similar courage for the love of God.

      For info on the Austrian revolt, please click on at:


      1. Thanks for reply Jerry. Why in God’s name did it take centuries? This “garbage” goes back to at least the 1850s. I find it so difficult to believe that our leaders are moral/pious.
        BTW, thanks for all the links you supply.

    2. Yes, “why must it always take the legal system for Catholic leaders to do the ‘right thing'”? And why must Catholic leaders behave in sharp contrast to the behaviors promulgated by their faith?

      Into the Lenten season we go. The clerical language will speak of spiritual health, penance, reflection, human faults and weaknesses, the reality of temptation, and CONVERSION… Along side what the faithful hear in church will be reports and testimony pertaining to all of the clerical hiding, lying, concealing, deceiving and, of course, the denial. The juxtaposition of the two will be glaring. Indeed, the clerical input stands to make a mockery of the entire Lenten season.

    1. Jerry that was a good article on the judge!

      But going back to the Reuters article, I was interested in Marci Hamilton’s remarks about plea bargains and especially her remarks about prosecutors all over the country watching this trial.

      If ever there was a moment for vigorous enforcement of long over due justice, it is right now in Philly. In my view, US prosecutors ( and judges) have been far too lenient on the Church, cut deals far too often that let bishops and others, basically ‘walk’, when they had been oh so complicit, in ‘child endangerment.’

      If there is a deal, cut, and Lynn doesn’t serve a jail term, ( to say nothing of your other points), not only will justice not have been served, but the Vatican will breath a sigh of relief and innocent children will be at further horrendous risk.

      Justice in this matter has clearly been ‘delayed’, I fervently hope it will not be ‘denied.’

    2. I can’t imagine a plea deal that would not involve a guilty plea on some counts and prison sentence- even if reduced. A guilty plea is sending a message throughout the U.S. and beyond. I don’t want a plea but if all of the prosecution’s hard work involves a guilty plea or verdict then that is a breakthrough in many ways.

      1. I think all of us are speculating. There is so much that goes into a trial -things we will never know about -as is the case in any trial.There could be a plea being arranged -who knows? I do know how long and hard the prosecutor’s of the 2005 and 2011 reports worked on pursuing justice in this case. As Jerry said months ago-he also has not practiced criminal law -you never know what things can change the course of a trial or pretrial.
        And in this case there is something important to remember -a trial does not guarantee a guilty verdict -so a plea agreement involving admission of guilt is in itself groundbreaking. I don’t want a plea- I want a full trial however I am not throwing the prosecutors under the bus if a plea is somehow warranted -they know best the case they are dealing with and all the variables involved.

      2. Kathy, Joan and Hadit, I agree with Kathy, especially when she cites me as an authority, non-criminal lawyer that she fairly observes I am. There could be many reasons, other than plea bargaining, for the delay.

        Let us step back and thank God the case has come this far.We will know more soon enough.

        It is reassuring to be reminded by Kathy how hard and long the prosecutors have been working on this sordid case. That alone suggests they are unlikely to settle for any rap on the knuckles.

  3. Until the hierarchy in Rome is investigated and a younger leader is appointed and made aware of what is happening in our church, I don’t expect to see any major changes.

    1. Thanks, Kathy, for that important link .

      This link gives a real flavor of what the future TV coverage, which will likely include national network and cable news shows, will look like. It could be a real media frenzy on a daily basis over perhaps six months.

      This link also brings home well the pressure on Chaput to do whatever he can now to stop this trial.

      Similarly, it also shows how strong a hand Seth Williams has to demand maximum Philly AD disclosure as well as a severe sentence for Lynn, either after trial or as a pre-condition of any plea deal.

      Lynn must also be required to tell all he knows about Rigali’s role.

      1. Yes, and that particular news station has been pretty weak on their coverage of the whole abuse scandal, so if they are now starting to cover things, we can be assured that the show has begun.

      1. Quite right Joan. “What potential juror is not going to be disgusted by the allegations”. The only subset I can think of is…what my children call robocatholics.
        Btw, 4 of our 5 children have left the church because of this garbage.

      2. Thanks, MH. That children “leave” is often a measure of their honesty and authenticity. They are unwilling to commit to the harmful hypocrisy so rampant among the hierarchy.

        Many Catholics, often older ones, have similar feelings, but hold on to the legacy that the hierarchy neither owns nor can entirely destroy.

        Some, including many C4C bloggers, are fighting to sanitize the legacy of the shameful sins that have too often sullied it.

  4. people are regularly confusing “allegations” with actually proved cases of abuse… I’m just sayin! Just because someone says something doesn’t make it true… remember the old standard of judgement– innocent until proven guilty… unless of course, you’re a priest… then it’s guilty until proven innocent!!!

    1. Hi Johnny V.

      Well said! How can the court accurately identlfy prospective jurors who have not heard about the abuse allegations in the Catholic Church considering the media frenzy, etc.

      If justice were really ‘blind’, then the case should have been quashed with prejudice early on after the Grand Jury reports were publicized and the gag orders issued.

      Perhaps some relief will come from Harrisburg.

      1. Joe B, it is a myth that justice is blind. Justice is fair, however. It is too late for Harrisburg to once again save the Philly AD from a jury of its Philly peers.

        That, as a lawyer of four decades, I am sure of.

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