49 thoughts on “Breaking News: Lynn Released

  1. Lynn was due to be released in October anyway. There are bigger fish to fry. Cardinal George Pell, from Australia, Pope Francis’s Financial Advisor has been accused by men in Australia that he sexually abused them when they were children .Pell was accused earlier but managed to escape any penalty because the presiding Judge felt that both Pell and his accuser were equally believable. The Church wins all ties.There is a link on the Snap Website that details rather graphically the charges against Pell.This is a half hour news presentation by one of Australia’s News Agencies. If someone could create a link here, I would appreciate it. My computer skills leave a lot to be desired.

      1. Ed: This is the one. Thank you very much. The story reminds me of many I have heard in this country.The victim”s stories are our stories. Their pain is our pain. Hopefully they will get the justice that many of us have not received.

  2. The world is a more dangerous place to live today with the release of Lynn or should I say its more dangerous for children if Lynn is involved with the safety of those children.

    Those of us who have been abused may have at one time or another may have shown compassion to our abusers in understanding why we were abused and although what I am about to say is only excuses on their part. In understand why we were abused we may have said our abusers suffered from a sickness or maybe they too were abused as children.

    In Lynn’s situation that is not the case though. This is a man and I use that term lightly who turned a blind eye to the safety of children. He made the decision to be a follower instead of a leader. A human being who took an oath to obey nothing more than another human being while children were put in harms way.This is a guy who could of been the hero of this story but ended up being a big fat zero.

    This is why I think Lynn is more dangerous then any abuser. He was the enabler.

    1. I agree with Dennis that Lynn is more dangerous than any abuser because Lynn is a priest. What caused Lynn to be an enabler was that he was (and likely remains) a prototypical priest, one who is blindly loyal, silent, vowed to secrecy, a pansy to the will of his superiors, a good old boy, and, when the going gets tough, prone to priestly habits like denial, lies, cover ups, collusion, the destruction of evidence, and corruption. As long as clericalism lives, and it lives, the priesthood will remain the single greatest threat to the safety of children.

      Kate FitzGerald

  3. Well stated, Kate! I agree with Dennis as well. If Lynn had any conscience at all during his stay in prison, he would have publicly announce his sorrow for the many innocent children he helped rape! I hold him more responsible for looking the other way than I do the perpetrator! He knew, and did nothing!

  4. At least he was in jail for almost 3 years–a step in the right direction. There are so many more who have not been brought to any justice. The distractions and legal maneuverings are so entangled. It’s still hard to get one’s head around the fact that these are priests, and their protectors and enablers are the hierarchy of the Church. Their whole raison d’être is supposed to be the good of their flock. Such a farce.

    1. E. Kennedy: This is off subject and you certainly don’t need to respond but when I have seen your posts, I have often wondered if maybe we were related. My mother’s maiden name is Kennedy. She was the youngest of ten children. They grew up in Germantown. Her oldest sister was an Immaculate Heart Nun. Just wondering

  5. He served his time. Msgr. Lynn, without a doubt, had many transgressions, but the DA still missed the boat. The untimely death of Bishop McFadden erased a true suspect in these tragic cases. McFadden, when he was Cardinal Krol’s secretary knew more than Krol himself. McFadden was his ‘brothers keeper’. Heavy layers of guilt also are on Burbridge,Cistone,Pepe,Senior,Thomas, McIntyre,DiLorenzo,Shoemaker…….most rewarded with a crozier and miter for turning a blind eye. Danti said. ‘ Hottest places in hell are reserved for those who do Nothing

  6. There are so many villains in this real life Greek Tragedy. One could start with the last four Archbishops of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia: Krol.Bevilaqua,Rigali,Chaput. And as Michael points out those like Lynn and all the other actors under these Archbishops who were just as guilty as Lynn but managed to stay out of jail. And then there were the many priests who abused kids for there own perverted pleasures. Although we can attribute there actions to mental disease, they were still responsible for what they did. And then there were the many priests who had to know what their “brother” priests were doing bringing young boys into their bedrooms at the rectory. Also guilty were those in the pews who continue to support their Church, a Church that harbors criminals and child abusers. And last but not least are the many popes who have known about this scourge for decades if not centuries and continue to ask victims for forgiveness but do nothing to earn that forgiveness. So many villains. And yet Lynn still remains as the focal point of all our anger. What he did was so wrong in so many ways I believe it is time to move on from Lynn. I don’t believe he should be retried. He has already spent almost three years of his life in prison. He will have to spend the rest of his life, knowing that the things he did, led to more kids being sexually abused. I believe we need to look more closely at the other villains.There are many to choose from.

    1. Lynn was such a meek priest when he looked the other way but he’s not so meek in making sure he gets out of prison. He knew at the time that his meekness was an asset in getting ahead. His role of meekness served him well until it was his downfall. If he were really meek, he would stay in prison until October.

  7. There are so many others to blame including Lynn..so many. Bevilaqua should have been indicted, I was there when Lynn was on the stand and the danger of the mentaility that was shown sent chills up my spine as a parent. When he cheerfully explained that children were sent to confession to Avery “out in the open” rather than in a confessional,I literally thought I was going to have to leave the courtroom. He was on the stand being charged with crimes against children and throught we would all think it was normal that children would be lined up to go to confession to a man whose hands had violated other children. It is sick.,and as a parent,as a mother, was one of the most disturbing things I have ever witnessed..His demeanor explaining the situation was a peak behind the curtain…these children might as well have been cattle lined up to the slaughter …sickening
    The underlings in any crime are not nothing…there always needs to be a get away driver to help the masterminds carry out the crimes.

    1. Kathy: I just finished reading a novel by Ray Mouton entitled “IN God’s House.” Ray Mouton was the lawyer, who along with Tom Doyle and Michael Patterson wrote the essay back in 1985, warning the Hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church to start to deal with the Clergy Abuse Crisis before the Church was destroyed by it. Of course, they were ignored .Any way Mouton wrote this novel, which contains the story of Gilbert Gauthe, the Lafayette Louisiana priest who Mouton defended before becoming a Spokesperson for victims of clergy abuse . Much of the story is based on Mouton’s struggle to deal with the facts of the case, especially the way the Hierarchy dealt with this crisis.At the end of the novel, Mouton talked about two different things, the Church has used to keep the secrets. The first was called “Mentalis Restricto”, translated from Latin “Mental Reservation” .This idea came out of the Church during the Middle ages. Basically it says that Church Officials could lie to those in the laity or public officials to avoid bringing scandal to the Church. The truth was to be told to God only. Lies could be told to protect the reputation of the Church. I believe I have witnessed too much of that.The second thing that Mouton mentions is “The Secret of the Holy Office”. In 1962 Pope John XXIII issued a document that was to be kept in the Secret Archives of each diocese. This document instructed all those who were aware of Sexual Abuse were sworn to secrecy. Under absolutely no circumstances were Bishops ever permitted to report any priestly crime to secular police. From what I have gathered this policy was changed in 2002.From that time forward, Bishops were instructed to report crimes to police if it was required under local laws .Unfortunately , in many parts of the world, there are no such laws. In looking into this, I came across another book entitled “Potophor’s Wife , a book that delves into the later idea of the “Secrets of the Holy Office. The more I delve into this subject, the more disgusted I become.”

        1. Some corrections to my above post. For 1500 years the Catholic Church accepted that clergy who sexually abused children should be stripped of their status as priests and turned over to police. That changed in 1922 when Pope PiusXI issued his decree:”Crimen Sollicitationis” that created a privileged clergy. All information coming forth from Cannon Law investigations were to remain secret. If secular authorities didn’t know,there could be no secular trials. Whatever crimes priests committed would be dealth with secretly and internally. Pope Paul VI in 1974 extended the reach of “pontifical secrecy” to the allegation itself. In 2001 Pope John Paul II confirmed the application of “pontifical secrecy’.Benedict in 2010extended it to include allegations about priests who sexually abused intellectually disabled adults.It was Benedict in 2010 who gave a dispensation to “Pontifical Secrecy to allow reporting to police when local law required it. As I stated above Pope John XXIII in 1962 issued a document that required all dioceses to keep in their secret archives this instruction on “pontifical secrecy”.

  8. The world is a more dangerous place today because R. Seth Williams is still the Philadelphia District Attorney. He has turned a blind eye toward justice, props up frauds as sex abuse victims, and continues to flagellate a hapless scapegoat for the sins of the church, while giving every bishop in town a pass.

    His office has rewritten sworn grand jury testimony. Seth himself has repeatedly lied about the facts of the Lynn case. Yet that’s OK with the people who comment on this blog, and the mainstream media reporters who pass on his pablum, so he can continue to grandstand.

    Nothing to celebrate here.

    1. Your right Mr. Cipriano there is nothing to celebrate.

      NO corks being popped or someone getting a standing ovation.

      But if a DA can get that guilty verdict on someone who literally enabled the predator to attack the prey I am on his side 100%.

      I cannot speak for everyone else here but no matter what happens to Lynn it will never change what happened to us, but it just might help those children who are now sitting in our desks and send the message loud and clear the safety of children comes first.

      1. Ralph no doubt the hierarchy saw Lynn coming a mile away..the only thing they probably did not expect was that he would last 12 long years in the position. Who the heck could put their head on the pillow each night knowing that there were many predators on the loose in parishes thoughout the Archdiocese…hapless?..hardly. That is why I always say there were many ” including” Lynn.. It is a complete failure that others were not indicted, I agree 100% …but having seen Lynn on the stand..that scared me for sure.
        Have you ever asked the question of those in the know, if they gave the heads up to their own family members about the abusive priests ,so that the children in their own families were not in harms way? There is no answer that would be good of course..if they did not warn their own families than that is a level of depravity that is incomprehensible… and if they did warn their loved ones but allowed ours to be the guinea pigs, then again,a level of depravity that is incomprehensible. Sickening and nothing to celebrate for sure.

        1. If I saw a child in the street and a vehicle coming at them ,and I did not yell for the car to stop,or did not try to grab the child out of the way..my inaction might not be criminal..but who does that? Who has to refer to the Pa criminal code to justify their actions/inactions in protection of children? And in this case I knew the car and child would be put in that situation every single day and did not warn parents or police..I just stood on the side of the road hoping it all worked out. every single day…for 12 years. Lynn might come out of this with no conviction.. but hapless..Oh wow ..No.

    2. Page 33 of the 2005 Phila GJ report :

      We were initially incredulous when Cardinal Bevilacqua insisted that Msgr. Lynn was very intelligent and competent. After all, the Secretary for Clergy’s “investigations” did not bother with witnesses, nor did they seek the truth or falsity of allegations, unless the priest happened to confess. But after reviewing files that all contained the same “incompetent” investigation techniques, it became apparent to the Grand Jurors that
      Msgr. Lynn was handling the cases precisely as his boss wished.

      There is more disgusting documented information contained in the report if you choose to read. This confirms that lynn IS an accompice and is responsible for endangering the welfare of childeren !

    3. And I am sure Tony Bevilaqua is so relieved that the maid, nurse, or secretary “helped” with his medication prior to his deposition so that he could go to his final reward at a more convenient time for him and the Archdiocese.

  9. My thoughts on Lynn come months before the 2011 GJ report was relased and have little to do with Seth Williams or Billy Doe . When the 2005 GJ report was relased, I read about in the newspapers etc but did not read the entire document until October/November 2010. That is when I took the time to read every word of the report and read the name Lynn over and over again. Also it was from reading the document that I grasped the extent of the cover up. With the newspaper articles from 2005 I was focused more on which priests I knew who were named as abusers. It was not until 2010 that I finally saw the big picture and Lynn was a starring role in the depravity I read about. I knew that one had been indicted after the 2005 report and that Bevi had gone into a semi seclusion at the seminary but where was this Lynn guy..banished to Siberia? Of course not, he was maybe a 20 minute drive from my house and the pastor of a large parish..when I read that I almost fell off my chair. I actually thought of calling him or stopping by the rectory and knocking on the door..can you imagine?? lts almost comical when I look back now but that is a response people have when they care about kids..the feeling that you have to do something. I was still mulling over how to go about contacting Lynn when only a few short months later his picture popped up on the news with the release of the 2011 report.
    I met a parisioner of his who did confront him about the 2005 report..he told her not to believe a word of it.

  10. Unable to trust and Ed, We often hear Lynn was just following orders however in Brennan’s case he seems to have actually not followed the minimal orders that Bevilaqua recommended..so he wasn’t someone who just followed orders when he did not even follow the order of informing the pastor of Brenna’s past. Lynn seems to have gone rogue at times endangering children even more, Wouldn’t it have been great if he went rogue the opposite direction?
    If I had contacted him back in 2010, my statement woud have been “How dare you’ . My question would have been ‘What the hell is wrong with you?”


    1. How dare ralph attempt to portray lynn as a ‘ victim ‘, to me lynn is a ‘ VICTIMIZER ‘ !

    2. The sick part is that I don’t think any cleric would have behaved differently from Lynn. Clerics, themselves, are victims. While it’s hard to accept it, it’s the truth. Their exposure to the clerical culture is extremely damaging to their consciences, psycho-sexual maturity, and spirituality. Richard Sipe writes about it in depth. If Lynn were smart, he’d sue the Catholic Church for the effect its dysfunction and corruption had on him. In doing so, it may advance my hope, at least: reform the priesthood.

      1. Dear Lynn,

        In every moral and ethical system, there is the component called “making amends.” One is obliged to make them, and they must be proportional to the damage one inflicted.

        Clericalism and the corrupt clerical culture caused the sexual abuse crisis. They remain alive and well, today.

        It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out the “kinds” of amends you ought make.

        Kate FitzGerald

      2. I think the majority may have accted as Lynn but there is always the minority in any situation who will be stronger than the group think mentality I also think of that majority,most would not have lasted 12 years.
        I have had a lesson the past few years of the dynamocs in the church and the archdiocese. and no one,and I mean no one. gets assigned a job/position by chance,

      3. Kate: I definitely agree with you that there was not a cleric that would have acted differently than Lynn. As a young boy growing up in the Catholic Church in the fifties and sixties, Obedience to those in authority was the most valued quality a young person could exhibit. I remember my report card had two sides. One side measured reading, writing and arithmetic. The other side was character traits such as self control and obedience. I don’t ever remember receiving anything less than an A in obedience .I would have been a perfect candidate for the priesthood .Kids who received grades like C’s or D’s, were much more balanced than those of us who received A’s but would never have passed muster for the priesthood. There was a time when I considered the priesthood. The truth is back then with the way I was brainwashed by the Catholic Church in school and at home, I realize that I may have acted the same way Lynn did. Even after being sexually abused as a twelve year old altar boy, it took me thirty to forty years to rid my brain of all the “crap” I was indoctrinated into by the Catholic Church .And William Lynn was further indoctrinated at St. Charles Seminary.I still don’t believe that any further trials for Lynn is the way to go. The money spent on this trial could be spent tracking down those who are still molesting kids.

        1. Years ago I had a conversation with a priest as we both were in the counseling field..he more by default as a parish priest. He told me of a woman whose husband was trying to use the “obedience” vow as a way to force her into have a three way sexual encounter. The woman came to this priest horrified by what her husband wanted and he tried to explain to her that her husband was making a mockery out of the obedience vow with this request. He seemed almost dumbfounded that the woman could fall for this line of reasoning from the husband. Fast forward to 2005 and this same priest’s name pops up in the 2005 GJ report..not as an abuser but just another priest along the way who knew of the abuse and did nothing.Talk about making a mockery of the obedience vow! What he saw in the woman, he could not see in himself.
          If we go along the lines that all clerics are victims of the culture then where does the buck stop? I disagree that every single priest would have done Lynn’s job. Most, but not all. I also know that some seminarians left before being fully indoctrinated into the culture when they found out things that went against their moral code. I get where you are coming from Kate, but I am not there 100%. I am all about people taking personal responsibility for their actions and not every person in a situation behaves the same way. Not every kid raised in a mafia family joins the mob.

          1. Kathy: In 1922 when Pius XI in his encyclical put forth the idea of a privileged clergy, he warned all members of the clergy that if they said or did anything that would bring shame to the Church by talking about children being sexually abused by priests, they would be subject to excommunication. Nothing has changed since then except more popes have only added more restrictions. It wasn’t until 2010 when Benedict issued a dispensation when local laws required Bishops to report such abuse that anything changed .So where does the buck stop? It is pretty obvious to me that the buck stops at the very highest office in the Church; The Papacy. Every priest, every Bishop knew that they faced excommunication if they reported or talked about sexual abuse. Did that stop every priest? No: There were some who had the courage to speak out like Tom Doyle but the vast majority towed the line.

          2. Jim,yes,my point being that the Bevilaquas and popes also were indoctrinated and thrived in the same clerical culture as Lynn, so if we say Lynn was a victim of the culture then we would have to say they are also. I am totally on baord with those who say Bevilaqua should have been indicted also..but not on board with those who say Lynn should not have been indicted. Don’t you think Bevilaqua was following orders also?..in that case he is a “Lynn” only on an upper level..why indict him then? Wasn’t Bevilaqua he a victim of the upper echolon of clericalism? Indict anyone involved in the cases is my opinion. No more” it wasn’t my fault I was following orders”

          3. Jim and Kathy, when I say clerics are victims of the clerical culture, I mean they are damaged, impaired, and compromised by it. So are we, the laity. Because we all are, does not mean we should not be held responsible for our actions. A lot of things in life can damage, impair, and compromise us– poor parenting, traumas, poverty, etc.– but they do not alleviate us from our responsibility to act morally. I agree with Kathy. Indict everyone.

            Sometimes when I think about the “clerical culture,” I cannot separate it from “organized crime.” How has the clerical culture, for centuries, been anything short of organized crime? The Church’s history is riddled with clerical crimes, the cover up of the abuse of children is only one.

          4. Kathy, I find that interesting and sadly uninformed…. I mean the whole wife obey your husband. It is premised by the fact that husbands are to love their wives first as Jesus loved us. If the husband isnt Christ -like that cancels out any need to obey his unchristian wishes. Same goes for priests no matter the man made laws in the church. Christian love requires sacrifice not excluding laying down your life for another or even excommunication. Many saints have been excommunicated.I think it is so sad how clergy leadership, clergy, lay people etc distort what Jesus taught for their own gain. I know many survivors have been told for example anger is a sin
            by their abuser. There is such a thing as “holy anger”. Cleralicism tries to put limits on Jesus s unconditional love (which isnt possible)the result being loss of individual intergrity and morality and the creation of selfish ,weak men and woman.

          5. Kathy I realize you were pointing out how the priest couldn’t see his own blind obedience to something that wasn’t healthy. I just wanted to expand on how distorted it is from Jesus s orginal message. It s amazing to me that priests are in college for so long and there isn’t any critical thinking. In high school and college especially I felt teachers emphasized that more than anything. Ask questions, look at things from different views. debate, find solutions, search,pray and you will come to know the truth.

          6. Beth, yes it is all a distortion of what was intended. I believe the obedience was intended in relation to church doctrine, not crimes,especially crimes against children. If a Bishop told an underling priest to go rob a bank, would he do it? Probably not..hide a crime against children and allow more to be harmed… obviously yes.

        2. Jim and Kate this is an excellent article from 2006 about Msgr Molloy who was Lynn’s partner in crime so to speak.
          Molloy also deviated at times ,but his actions were towards the right thing to do although he never quite makes it across that line. Look at Lynn’s actions in the Brennan case..he actually seems to deviate from the minimal guidelines that could have protected children. Two men under the same orders of obedience. Molloy was also the one who did NOT shred all copies of the infamous shredded memo .Talk about an act of defiance!
          There is a spectrum of obedience in the clergy. There are those who would not have done Lynn’s job for 12 years.

          1. Kathy: Thanks for posting this. I read this article fairly recently. Two lines of the article stand out to me. Molloy is quoted as saying “The Archbishop is still the Archbishop. He deserved the benefit of the doubt.” Even with Malloy who seems to have had some reservations about what was going on, he still deferred to the Archbishop at the end.The other line in the article that struck me was this one: To determine if a priest was a pedophile, the treatment facility often simply asked the priest, The priest often said no”. Incredible. Self diagnosis is certainly one hallmark of a valuable treatment center.AS we all know, denial is the number one obstacle in any treatment.

    3. Kathy, really don’t want to get into this as I had a few conversations about this case in the past few months.

      Avery and Brennan are prime examples of the vow of obedience. The vow that I could not keep and those two would have not followed no matter which parish they went to. Jeromes and Reso both needed priests and both are very supportive of the RCC. could not believe that when a priest was accused the parishioners did not even bat an eye when he was in their parish.

      So reading the grand jury report and living most of my childhood in that parish, I know the tremendous pressure the families were under. I can get into specifics, but hopefully those involved can and will work to help the many Catholics know what has happened and the pressures the church but on these victims/survivors.

      Reading the terms pedophile and homosexual just get me upset in so many ways. Why is pedophile used so much when it has such a limited scope in dealing with kids. Pederasty is the term used for 13 to 17 years old that are sexually abused. For some reason that church, lawyers and therapists use that grouping to question that the girl or boy actually seduced the priests and/or rapist. That the girl or boy has given permission for the relationship to occur. A judge gave a sentence of work release to a person who brutally raped a 16 year old – she will get over it/ it will destroyed the young man’s life and the big one here in Philly – the priest has done so much good – 200 of his parishioners. came to support the priest, how many students he had a “relationship with” who are still too afraid to admit that they fell for his lines when they were groomed. The some seminarians that may still want to sleep with 14 to 17 year old kids? How many were groomed in those minor seminaries which I did attend before years later joining a religious “cult”.

      It is a very difficult age and the priests, therapists, addicts know the right buttons to push which makes them dangerous. They also know the right people to spread rumors and most likely even blackmailing to RCC into silence (not an excuse) as they know enough. Many even getting an assignment in a nice parish were the parishioners worship their priests.

      So Lynn knows the necessary questions were not asked – were minors under 18 at risk from this priest and the sickening question about gay priests being the center point when asking about abuse of minor. Do they ask that question to married men who rape young women between the ages of 13 to 17. Are you a heterosexual did that 13 years old seduce you? As the defense lawyers uses language to rape the young women in court by accusing her of seduction when someone forcibly raped her.


  11. If there is always a minority who will supersede the groupthink mentality, then why did every parish priest in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia make available to his parishioners, in word and/or in print in the pews, Chaput’s SOL reform propaganda? Priests may have manipulated boundaries in terms of the manner in which they delivered it but they delivered it. Name one parish priest who has fully, freely, and publicly admonished the Archdiocese for its handling of victims over the decades. Name one parish priest who sat with the victims throughout the Lynn trial. Name one effect the Philadelphia Priest Association has had on the sexual abuse crisis. No. No priest ever fully supersedes the groupthink mentality which is why, when a handful throw crumbs out or operate under the radar, we have to stop thinking they have escaped the groupthink. They may dance differently, but they are all dancing to the same groupthink tune.

  12. I agree, my comment was in relation to how Lynn was chosen for his specific position. I am going to go out on a limb and guess that there were no names on that short list of anyone who had ever spoken up..shown critical thinking..or was known to be a bit of a rebel…about anything.

  13. Another thing that is fascinating in a horrific way is that Lynn did not follow all orders from Bevilaqua in the Brennan case.If he were so submissive or afraid of Bevilaqua then why was he not following every exact order? In this case it seems to have endangered children even more..is it possible that the only people Lynn felt he had power over was the children? Is that how sick this all is..and to deviate from Bevilaqua and show some of his own power meant children may have suffered even more?

    1. In the case of Lynn not following Bev’s orders, Lynn may have felt he knew and could exercise the groupthink better than Bev. Very unusual position for a lowly priest to be in. In exercising it, Lynn was saving himself and his superior, Bev, who was dangerously straying. To hell with the children. Maintain the groupthink. Cover up for and save the clerics. If Bev didn’t get it, Lynn knew the others surely would. Lynn. Hero.

  14. Believe it or not, there were 2 priests that I contacted concerning the whereabouts of Dolan, one of my perps. The one priest was a huge help, the other STARTED to tell me but the terror in his voice stopped him from going any further and he eventually hung up on me. So sad how they keep these decent priests in their grip.

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