by Susan Matthews
For the first time ever, a jury has found a Catholic Church official guilty of child endangerment. It certainly wasn’t the first time one was guilty, but it’s an important step toward making it the last time. This verdict will do more to protect children than any Bishops’ charter or archdiocesan initiative. Why? Because now there is real accountability.
Msgr. Lynn faces jail but that is nothing compared to the life sentence the victims of his crime face. Despite that, this verdict is a victory.
As Kathy Kane wrote in our comments: “Prior to the 2011GJ report there were 27 priests with abuse allegations/boundary issues in the Archdiocese. They were in our parishes, schools, CYO and Prep programs. Every single victim who has ever came forward, even if not involved in the trial, has kept our children protected, kept them safer than they ever would have been had the truth not been revealed. There is no amount of justice that could ever be served to the victims in the Philly AD for the years of horror that occurred, but your efforts have kept this generation of children safer from child predators. Each night when every victim closes their eyes, they can say that they protected children. Others have done just the opposite and some day will answer to a higher authority than any judge or jury. This trial produced a mixed bag of verdicts… a plea deal, an acquittal, hung jury and conviction. My verdict on what the victims have accomplished…Heroic.”
I couldn’t agree more. Children are safer.
Much like the Sandusky trial, this case brought national attention to child sex abuse. It’s time to turn that attention to action. I call upon my fellow 1 million plus Catholics to put children first. How? It’s time to get our state laws changed. The statute of limitations on child sex abuse must be lifted in PA. The arguments against it are self-serving to Church leadership and oppose all that we were taught as Catholics.