Will Laws Prior to 2007 Allow Lynn to Walk?

Click here to read:  “Monsignor Lynn makes case that he was wrongly convicted in Philly priest-abuse case,” by Maryclaire Dale, Associated Press, DelcoTimes.com, September 17, 2013

Excerpt: “I did not intend any harm to come to (Avery’s victim). The fact is, my best was not good enough to stop that harm,” Lynn said at his sentencing. “I am a parish priest. I should have stayed (one).”

Editor’s note: Dear Msgr. Lynn, Perhaps you should have stayed a parish priest. But would it be right for a parish priest to remain silent or allow the coverup of child sex abuse? No.

16 thoughts on “Will Laws Prior to 2007 Allow Lynn to Walk?

  1. Also Cipriano’s post gives even more detail http://www.bigtrial.net/. This is not a new issue of the EWOC charge applying/not applying to Lynn. It has been in question since the release of the 2011 GJ report. There was an excellent break down of the EWOC law posted on the Priest Abuse Trial blog early on and we had linked it at the time. Here it is again for those who may have missed it the first time.


  2. Whatever the outcome of the appeal at least Lynn received some time in prison. The law changed in 2007, but the laws of God have been in effect forever. It’s sad that we can’t look to Church leaders to do the morally right thing, but we can’t.

    As adults we must seek the guidance of our own informed consciences in order to live as Christians.

  3. Dr13..oh this is good! You have said it. ! I tot ally agree. I noticed, (by accident) I turned on O’Rreilly and he just said” the Catholic Church has lost it’s mortal compass” He being , as many on Fox News are Catholic,. a big change in attitude for them.Math.10: 26-27

  4. So how does this affect the victims? Does this mean they (pre 2007 officials) have immunity? Hopefully they (justice system) realize why parents have difficulty putting their child through the justice system. How do we get the message that there needs to be changes in the law and when are we going to elect people who know how to write law to protect our children. Do they understand the cost of inaction or poor action Individuals and families ruin, children who can’t understand why their parent is so sad and the cost of treatment if available. So many special people that loved and/or served their church victimized by their church and the justice system.

    Please continue to support the victims and their families.

    1. egunn3000g, Thank you, for your post. So many of you always remember us the survivors, no matter what. For me, it like putting soothing ointment on a forever scar.

      1. Vicky, I see the faces of the children both emotional challenged and brain injured that I had daily contact. Trying to figure if a young child is being sexual abused or asking a parent if incest is occurring was never easy, but so important for the child,
        I can’t forget the surprised look from the person who I asked if he observed sexual abuse. He was so horrified that that could happen that he couldn’t say it. Could just tell me he observed something evil. That person was able to pursue it as far as possible. He showed me courage knowing his job was on the line when he reported it.

        I will never forget the young boy (we were the same age)that saw his abuser.

        Thank you and all the victims and their families for your courage.

    2. egunn the changes to the EWOC law in 2007 were in some ways a result of the 2005 GJ report. Recent changes to the mandatory reporting laws were a result of the Sandusky /Penn State fiasco. I think the answer to your question unfortunately is for those whose crimes occurred before the changes, then they are shut out of the justice system in many ways.

  5. It seems rather ironic that an institution that always has claimed to be above mans law now uses those same laws to claim not that they are innocent but the law doesn’t pertain to them because they managed to escape the narrow time restraints of Pennsylvania law regarding the sexual abuse of children. In many ways I feel sorry for Father Lynn. It seems rather obvious, that he was in way over his head. He was following orders from Krol and Bevilaqua, neither of whom lived long enough to pay for their crimes.Of course, he could have refused to follow those orders. But that is not the way it works with many who follow the Catholic Church. Obedience, not to God but to those who claim to represent Him has been the mainstay of the Catholic Religion for some time now.

  6. And Jim Tucker…Isn’ t that the most horrendous thing for people who thought they were following in Christ’s Footsteps in their church

    to find they’ve been following the opposite of what JESUS taught HIS DECIPLES??. And that these men. and women have used our Blessed LORD as a ” con” to get people to do “their will” rather than the WIll OF GOD???

  7. Dear Msgr. Lynn,

    Some Catholics cannot believe victims’ stories of how callously they were treated by the archdiocesan leaders. Some accounts are so bizarre and horrific that I can understand how they could bring into question the victim’s credibility. But, the accounts of your own behavior as evidenced by memos from your office extinguish any doubting of the victim.

    When Catholics doubt victims, I show them this memo from the Archdiocesan files. I do not need to offer any comment on it.


    According to this memo of a meeting between you, your assistant (Msgr. McCulkin), and the priest perpetrator Thomas Shea, Shea admitted to molesting a 10 year old. [He had previously admitted to molesting two boys.] Monsignor McCulkin says that you, Monsignor Lynn, suggested that maybe Father Shea was seduced into it by the boy.

    That boy was 10 years old.

    Is this an example of your doing the best that you could?

    Martin J. Leahy

    1. Martin,I know of a situation where a woman was very upset after the release of the 2005 GJ report and went to speak to her pastor. The pastor told the woman that he knew of a priest who was ‘seduced”‘ by the child. I wonder if he was talking about himself though, as he has been identified as an abusive priest and is in the Prayer and Penance program.
      I read a fascinating article about abusive clergy and the thought that because many priests entered the seminary as teens and essentially shut down their sexuality at that age, they sexually identify as teens. In this memo you posted, the abusive priest seems to say that the child/victim was already fooling around with other kids his own age so it was not like the priest got him into all this. “Already fooling around with kids his own age” How does one make the leap from a kid fooling around (sexually) with other kids his own age to an adult sexually violating a child…unless the person does not see himself as an adult but one of the ‘other kids” ? I am not saying I attribute all abuse or situations to this thinking..just an interesting article I stumbled upon and this memo reminded me of it.

      1. Kathy,
        There is research to support this stunted sexual growth among young men.

        A former family friend and priest did prison time for his “relationship” with a young, questioning minor. We went to visit him in prision and he said, “He (meaning the kid) latched onto me and followed me to different parishes. He wanted to be with me. I was seduced.”

        My mom was very empathetic at the time, but my Dad cut all ties with the priest and told us kids, “Forty year old men do not get ‘seduced’ by teenagers. They hold the power and responsibility.”

  8. Thank you Martin for your informative reply. All the legalese that suddenly comes forward to protect perpetrators and when the victims seek justice, they are hit a second time by the ones who allowed this evil to occur. To go after the institutional hierarchy is like the Turks sieging Constantinople in the 1500’s. It took years, but the walls finally crumbled and the “Roman Empire” in the East came tumbling down. What helped the Turks to bring down the walls was not simple the huge monstrous cannon which finally shattered the structure at its base, but persistence, persistence, persistence. Firing salvos helps weaken the structure, but persistence is the major hope for victory. This victory is not based on joy that the Church has been shattered, but that evil has been challenged and those responsible, no matter how protected they seem to have been, will be led to justice and victims will be vindicated by those who believe them and join with them in seeking justice.

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