As the judge set bail for Msgr. Lynn today, many are disheartened. However, justice isn’t the end game for many advocates and victims. It’s one of many means to an end. While many would like to paint victims as vengeful and money hungry, that simply isn’t the case for those I’ve met. Most lie awake at night worried that another child is enduring what they experienced. Protecting children is the victory.
Had Seth Williams not indicted Msgr. Lynn on child endangerment charges, no one would have seen the mountains of evidence proving a Church coverup of epic proportions. While Williams’ intentions have been called into question, they are irrelevant to me as a Catholic mother. What matters is that clergy child sex abuse will not continue completely unchecked in the Archdiocese if Philadelphia. At least now, many are carefully watching.
Now that we know there is a problem, we can seek solutions for our state and our Church. The first is difficult but doable. We will work together to strengthen Pennsylvania’s state laws. We will not settle for being a predator-friendly state. The latter leaves me with dwindling hope.
Msgr. Lynn may not be criminally liable but he is certainly morally liable. And shouldn’t that inform the next steps of the hierarchy? Yet, the archdiocesan press release falls woefully short of commenting on his actions. The Catholic Church will not call him or others involved in the cover up of clergy sex abuse out to the carpet. After all, he was just obeying his Bishop. And to date, no Bishops have been reprimanded or punished publicly by the Church. Will the Pope weigh in on this obscene clericalism that put predators in the midst of children? This isn’t about vengeance or even justice. This is about sending a message to the world that the Catholic Church values children – all children – above the institution.
Archbishop Chaput wants all institutions to be treated equally by the law. I wish for a Church that answers to a higher law.
Click here to read, “Judge sets bail at $250,000 for monsignor,” by Allison Steele, The Philadelphia Inquirer, December 30, 2013