47 thoughts on “Lynn Sentenced to Three to Six Years

  1. It’s a start. Now let’s move on to his boss, Rigali, and Rigali’s boss, the pope. The Spirit is on the move.

      1. Jerry
        Will do. You are truly an advocate for the victims and for God’s justice to prevail.
        God bless you in your work.

    1. What’s the probability of seeing Lynn charged for more crimes? How about all the others on the “shredded list” not mentioned in the latest trial. 3 to 6 years for half of the remaining pedophile enabling/cover up cases on the list, adds up to an additional 45-60 years. In my opinion that would “right and just”.

  2. The Q the article did not address is whether Msgr. Lynn will be allowed out on bail during the lengthy appeal process. That will probably be the next issue to be address, albeit if he is now out on bail my guess would be that will continue.

    1. The PI reports his bail has been revoked and he will do the time. By the time his appeals are over, he will have already finished most of his sentence. There is some justice here after all.

      1. Joe,
        I think Jerry said it would be a mute point and let’s focus our time and energy on the bigger fish.

      2. Joe, Cathy has it right. His appeal is basically moot. Given how Lynn and Brennan got techical legal breaks at trial, anything is possible on appeal, but I would not expect Lynn to prevail.

  3. Time to put Lynn behind us and move on to the others…. Anyone (James D. Beisel, the Rev. Michael McCulken, and the Rev. Vincent Welsh) who worked with Lynn should take note of today’s sentence as you are GUILTY by association…The folks at 222 N17th Street should be thanking Lynn for taking the blame and not rolling over…

  4. Its the beginning of the process to validate the victims- survivors. God hears our prayers. i believe the victims-survivors and pray for you always. Peace

    1. Thank you, Denise McC, It means a lot to me to be believed and that our voices are now being heard.

      1. Your are welcome, Vicky. I believe in the power of prayer, and know that God knows all, and I pray that He continues to heal all who have been victims of the most horrible crimes….Peace

  5. I have just written the following letter to Archbishop Chaput,

    Dear Archbishop,

    Msgr. Lynn is now is prison for obeying Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua. That is the truth but not the whole truth. The whole truth is that Lynn also obeyed the Church’s authority structure, which Cardinal Bevilacqua represented. As the Catechism states, “Anyone who uses the power at his disposal in such a way that it leads others to do evil becomes guilty of scandal and responsible for the evil that he has directly or indirectly encouraged. (No. 2287). So the Church’s authority structure has also been convicted and must now be”sentenced.”

    As leader of the archdiocese, you are directly responsible to immediately dismantle the now officially criminal and evil authority structure and replace it with a living organism of faith that first of all fully and truthfully protects children. You have already publicly apologized. And you have made changes to protect children. No doubt you are sincere. Yet everything you have done, you have done primarily because the civil authorities caught the Church abusing children and covering up these horrific sins and crimes. You have spoken through lawyers and PR people. Jesus spoke directly to the people. And you are still doling out information in dribs and drabs. Jesus spoke the whole truth.

    Much more is required of you. A true apology and the change that is necessary will occur only when you create an archdiocese that is the true People of God, a respectfully collaborating family of the baptized, free of clerical isolation and privilege; an archdiocese that respects the faithful discernment of the laity, religious, priests and theologians; that clearly proclaims Christ’s Good News of Salvation and, as Vatican II says, humbly and respectfully listens to and dialogues with today’s society and culture. Nothing short of this will do. The faithful of Philadelphia do not make up a medieval church of nobles and peasants. They are 21st century American People of God.

    You may say that you have no power to do this, that only the pope can do it. That is unacceptable. Vatican II clearly teaches that you have the ordained power and responsibility to run your archdiocese according to the explicit intentions of Jesus Christ. The Gospel requires nothing less. The laity, religious, priests and theologians rightfully hold you responsible to do it. What pope can rightfully disagree?

    The victims’ suffering deserves and requires these necessary changes. They are waiting. St. Francis is waiting. Jesus is waiting.

    In Christ,

    Anthony T. Massimini

    1. Thank you, Anthony, with one addition. Lynn as personnel chief overlapped for some months with Rigali, then served under him for almost 8 years as pastor.

      Surely, Rigali knew all about the problem priests from Lynn, then learned more directly on the job. Rigali even got around just last year under public pressure to suspending 36 of them, some of whom Chaput has now sacked at his snail’s pace.

      Bevilacqua ran out the clock, but Rigali is still in the game.

      It’s time for Chaput to live up to the example of his model, St. Francis, and to deal with Rigali’s misdeeds. Of course, the ambitious Chaput will not likely do that, so we must demand that Seth Williams go after “His Eminence”, as Seth amazingly referred to Rigali last year. Eminence, my a$$.

      If the Philly AD didn’t have such political clout, Rigali would likely be sitting in a cell right now playing pinochle with Lynn! I would be happy to buy Rigali a new deck.

      We will get wait and see. There are at least two more pending criminal trials and numerous civil ones coming. Sooner or later Rigali will face the prospect of having Lynn deal his hand.

    2. Dear Anthony,

      Your letter is masterful. I pray that not only Archbishop Chaput, but every priest, Bishop and Cardinal of the church hear your eloquent voice. Instead, I fear, they’ll not hear you at all. Their power and arrogance has made them deaf to the people they vowed to serve. Until they themselves are legally charged for their own egregious behavior, they will never change their ways. William Lynn’s meager sentence today for his own crimes is a pathetic victory compared with the scope of the Church’s malfeasance. Much, much more remains to be addressed. Your voice gives us the courage to continue to seek justice. Thank you.

    3. Amen to all of you’ve written, Anthony!!!

      I despise the “I have no power to make changes” excuse. None these leaders have any “power”…They’re all just human beings like the rest of us. They all need to forget about power and do the right thing.

    4. Anthony, your letter is superb..!! tk you..

      Also, Bishop Bransfield needs to be removed while he is being investigated for child sex abuse.

      1. The Archdiocese of Philadelphia said it remained ”committed to protecting children and caring for victims,” while adding that “fair-minded people will question the severity of the heavy, three to six year sentence imposed on Msgr. Lynn today.

        Many “fair-minded people” have been questioning, ever since the release of the first Grand Jury Report in September 2005, why archdiocesan leadership and management, both lay and clergy, chose to protect the leaders and institution at the expense of the innocence, beauty, health, spirit and mind of many young child and young adult victims throughout the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

      2. I would take particular comfort if the AD utilized the 2011 Grand Jury recommendations relating to disclosure and independent management of abuse assistance.

      3. THESE RECOMMENDATIONS to be specific, made by the Grand Jury and directed to the Archdiocese :

        • Fund a victim assistance program that is independent of the Archdiocese and its lawyers.
        Our observations of two victims’ experiences with the Archdiocese’s victims assistance program are sufficient to convince us that the program needs to be completely overhauled and removed from the control of the Archdiocese. It is impossible for church
        employees to wholeheartedly serve the interests of the victims. As Mary Achilles, the consultant who tried to improve the victims assistance program, recognized, conflicts of interest are unavoidable. Victims of sexual abuse suffer today from the assistance coordinators’ split loyalties.
        The Archdiocese should either refer victims to the already existing Pennsylvania Victims Compensation Assistance Program, and then reimburse the program for aid that it provides to people harmed by Archdiocese employees, or it should fund an independent nonprofit that would administer assistance to the victims.

        The important element would be complete separation between the people who administer the fund and the Archdiocese and its lawyers. Decisions about assistance would be based solely on the needs of the victims. Information about the victims, their mental health, and their treatment would not be shared with the Archdiocese. The fund administrator would have to develop a process to determine eligibility.

        • Conduct the review process in a more open and transparent manner.
        If the Archdiocese wants to change the public’s perception and regain the trust of
        parishioners, it should be more honest and open with the public. We saw situations in which the Archdiocese told the public that it cannot conduct an investigation because it did not know the identity of a victim. Yet we saw in their documents that they did.

        We believe the Archdiocese should make public its files on sexual abuse allegations, including any “secret archive files.” This should be done in a way to protect the privacy of the victim. At the very least, parishioners deserve to know whenever an allegation of abuse is made against their priest. If the priest is cleared following an investigation, the reasons, along with the evidence, should be shared with the parish.
        • Use independent treatment facilities to evaluate and treat priests accused of sexually abusing minors.

         The psychologists and therapists the Archdiocese have historically used to evaluate priests and victims have not performed independent assessments nor were the assessments properly documented in the priest’s file. We strongly recommend that the Archdiocese engage an independent organization – such as The Joseph J. Peters Institute (JJPI) – to perform psychological evaluations of persons desiring to enter the priesthood to screen out pedophiles; to provide annual evaluations for mental fitness to serve as a priest; and to provide therapy to priests who are credibly accused of sexual abuse or violations of appropriate boundaries.
        We recommend that the Legislature:

        • Enact a two-year window to allow child sexual abuse victims to have their cases heard.
        We recommend that the Pennsylvania legislature suspend for two years the civil statute of limitations on sexual abuse claims. Such a “window of opportunity,” appropriately limited to two years, would allow adults who were victims of sexual crimes as children to have their cases heard in a court of law. The statute of limitations in force when many of these victims were abused required that any civil litigation begin within two years of the time of the abuse. Thus, a 10-year-old rape victim had until he was 12 years old to file suit against his abuser.

        It is well established that most victims of childhood sexual abuse do not come forward with allegations for many years, or even decades, after they were molested or raped. For this reason, the civil statute of limitations in recent years has been extended. However, as a result of the law’s past inadequacy, sexual predators who prey on children continue to be shielded from exposure.

      4. Kathy,
        If I may, I would like to “tidy up” the AD letter a little:
        Where you see the church please replace with “we monsters in clerical garb.” In the last sentence please add, “that you will continue to be silent and cover for us.”

        A reply to the AD letter follows:
        It is Judgment day, and you stand all alone before God. You tremble as He begins to read Anthony’s letter and when finished He asks, “Charles J. Chaput, did you feed my sheep?”

    5. Anthony
      Thank you for continuing to raise your intelligent voice for a reformed Church.
      From a former student at St. Charles.
      Hope you are well.
      Franny Dolan

  6. Philadelphia priest, Msgr Lynn, will be spending several years in jail because brave victims came forward and broke their silence. We also thank the Judge and the Philly DA’s for bringing some long over due justice to victims who have been sexually abused.

    This trial, verdict, and sentence sends a strong message to all church officials around the world that they can no longer get away with enabling and covering up sex crimes against innocent kids.

    It is time to start protecting children instead of protecting child predators. The Philadelphia Archdiocese is not unique in how they handle child sex crimes, all other dioceses throughout the world have secret archives and many “bishops are still NOT removing credibly accused predators from their parishes”. Law enforcement needs to be investigating other dioceses who are still protecting the predators. This is the only for sure way to protect kids today.

    Judy Jones, SNAP Midwest Associate Director, USA, 636-433-2511. snapjudy@gmail.com,
    (SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests)

  7. Everyone, I have been interviewed by Monica Yant about Lynn. Her article will be in tomorrows Inquirer. 7-25. I was told by her that Judge Sarmina read my letter at trial and mentioned me twice. If I had anything to do with Lynn sentencing, I am glad. He betrayed his conscience in order to give homage to a false God!

    1. I love your heart Vicky. You are an amazing woman. I believe your words had an impact. No one can hear the stories of victims and survivors without being changed.

      A huge thank you to Anthony for your letter. EXCELLENT!

    2. Your courage is remarkable. You stood up against the monsters and won. The world needs more Vicky’s!!!

    3. Vicky I am soooooooooooo glad you wrote that letter. I think you might have tipped the scale toward justice for all our survivors………..thankyou so much for truly caring for others………..you all deserve justice………

  8. Vicky; You are an inspiration to me. You have taken the evil that was done to you and turned it into the power of goodness. We need more people like you in this world.Thank you.

  9. Judge Sarmina was most professional today at the sentencing of Lynn, as she has been all along. After the Defense had the preliminary character witnesses give forth, one priest, a nun in habit principal, some parishoners, and a few boo-hooing relatives, it was enough to make you sick. And then, on the news tonight, the AD and Chaput say the sentencing was too harsh! GIVE ME A BREAK! Chaput, have you, or has a relative of yours ever been anally raped or sexually abused by these so called priests “of God?” My family has been affected by these terrible crimes, and we are not at peace nor will we ever be. This crime and coverup will continue to plague our lives until all responsible people in authority who colluded to allow this to happen are in jail with their buddy Lynn.

  10. Judge Sarmina was prudent in the sentencing of ‘lynn’ . The NCAA’s sanction of PSU was swift and fair and I stand in awe of the catholic church given the number of sandusky’s world wide it has enabled and protected, this scary picture truly shows the power and political connections the rcc has however the rcc is running out of places to hide and the politicians that protect them will not be able to do so much longer as the publics awareness grows so will their demands from the politicians and law enforcement for accountability.

    I would not have expected anything less from chaput, always about the enabler and perp no mentions of the VICTIMS !

    1. Actually, Unabletotrust the AB’s statement did mention the victims.Yet again, I go back to the 2011 Grand Jury recommendations, made by those very good citizens who served for many months and dealt with horrific detail abuse wise.

      Rather than a generic ‘concern and learning’ from the AD on the day of Lynn’s sentencing, I would be delighted to see a pledge by the AD to actually IMPLEMENT the Grand Jury’s very specific recommendations to the Archdiocese!!!

      Will they do it? probably not, will the average catholic in the pew have a clue? Probably not…..

  11. A mustard seed of faith in this instance, what example has been set to other juries around the world. Although many have left the church, their faith and the faith of many generations have seen this through.
    All Catholics4change.

  12. Amen. While I wasn’t directly abused by a clergy member, I experienced tremendous suffering from the secondary and indirect effects of it. (The AD used the chaplaincy at the university I attended as a “dumping ground” for two priests who abused minors. Without getting into details, I now realize how this must have influenced the terrible decisions they made wrt my pastoral counseling.)

    1. Dear MJM, I am an clergy abuse survivor, I have said it all along and as recent as today, how the families of victims are impacked as well. Thank you for stating this because people forget how the survivors family and friends have to also deal with the devastating effects of sexual abuse. I hope you are OK.

    2. MJM, I’m so sorry you have suffered. Whatever university/predator dumping ground you attended, ought to be exposed and pay serious consequences. — Chances are that they knew what was going on. They knew their students were at risk.
      IMO, there are way too many reg flags waving above the college chaplaincy/ pastoral counseling scene…especially for chaplains in roman collars.

      No young adult needs “pastoral counseling” bad enough to warrant the risk of being preyed upon. If any man seeks to counsel my kid, I need to be there too.

    3. MJM
      I am truly sorry you have suffered because of these “imposter priests.” By sharing your suffering, you are helping to expose and end this terrible injustice. Please keep posting your comments.

  13. Chaput cares not for the victims. He was sent here to rescue the AD. Chaput is nothing but a “company store” cleric sent to protect the store and not be even remotely concerned about the victims.

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