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Philadelphia Archdiocese Can Pay Roman Catholic Monsignor’s Defense

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Monsignor William Lynn did not say a word on his way out of court, walking quietly by the media gathered outside the Criminal Justice Center. Father James Brennan did the same thing when he left the hearing.

But lay teacher Bernard Shero tried to run away, throwing his jacket at Eyewitness News cameras, jogging across the street, and running into a garage.

These men and the other defendants in a church sex abuse scandal and cover up will head straight to trial after the judge’s rulings Friday afternoon.

The judge decided there is no need for a preliminary hearing and the cases can go to trial based on the evidence in the grand jury report.

The judge also granted conspiracy charges against the defendants in addition to sex abuse and cover up charges.

And the judge issued a gag order in this case, silencing the District Attorney’s office, the defendants and their attorneys, at least until trial.

Watch the video…

Abuse victim advocates outside the courthouse say the upcoming trial will be a step towards justice for victims who have been silent so long.

“We need to let the Archdiocese know that their behavior over the last 10, 20, 30, 40, 50 years will not be tolerated by victims, by Catholics, or by the community,” said Joelle Casteix, regional director for the Survivors Network
of those Abused by Priests.

Lawyers for defendants like Father Charles Englehardt say moving to trial robs them of a chance to look at evidence.  But they insist their clients will be found not guilty. 

The next time these defendants are seen in court, it will be for their arraignment, scheduled for April 15.

The judge also ruled Father Brennan will have to reimburse the courts $1,530 after he claimed he did not have money, took a court appointed attorney, then hired his own attorney.

Reported by Oren Liebermann, CBS 3

Top Content On CBSPhilly

  • TheInvestigator

    When they say trust in God and his people, look what his people are doing. Stealing the innocence of our young children. Justin Rigali should be defrocked for his role in the cover up. Justin you are as guilty as your priests, be a man of your word and turn yourself inas well.

  • michael

    All Assembly And Senate Members:
    Trenton, New Jersey

    Senate Bill# S2405
    Assembly Bill# A3622

    The horrendous crime of Sexual Assault to a minor, is extremely real in our state of New Jersey. Over the last several years many advocates and supporters have come forward to address the injustice and constitutionality about laws that crime victims have had to unfairly face in New Jersey.
    The criminal law statute for sexual assault was changed in 1995. There is no criminal statute now and rightfully so, in New Jersey, for a victim from sexual assault, to file a criminal claim.
    However, just a few legislative sessions ago, Our New Jersey Government did away with another barrier sex crime victims have had in filing and prosecuting criminals that rape children. This was the amendment to a charity shield, called charitable immunity law, in New Jersey.
    This charity law was a bar for many claimants. However, a civil law statute expired for filing civil complaints, while waiting for that charity immunity law to be amended, like it was. With much angst to the fact that there has been no remedy in the ability to prosecute and punish certain known offenders within the Camden Diocese,
    I am a child sex crime victim that still has no legal representation in New Jersey, due to this statute in civil law under review. Attorneys wont file criminal complaints for me, because a civil complaints bar is still pending this legislation..
    To mention that the sex offenders that are not registered with the state, are also not removed from positions that endanger children. Also, there currently is still the inability to punish, rehabilitate or incarcerate these criminals, that statistically re-offend across the boarder. In addition, there is no legal authority to govern and/or enforce any civility over these criminals and institutions that have protected them.
    Please Help.
    These reported upon known offenders will be prosecuted and punished when the bars that have protected them, removed.
    While New Jersey has always been on the forefront for Child protection and advocacy, Our great state’s laws are missing a large target of criminals, that we as a governing body have the ability to resolve and amend these discrepancies, with this legislation.
    This is all so in the effort that our justice system and the agents available within it, are able to perform the civil service that sex crime victims should other wise expect from them and be entitled too.
    Thank you for voting this bill to the Budget and Appropriations Committee, a vote 9-0. If you have not voted for this bill yet or signed on to Co-Spenser, please join in. And when the bill comes to the Assembly and the Senate again, for the final vote, I hope you will have extended this invitation to colleges for voting in favor of this urgent and needed amendment to New Jersey Sex Crime Laws.
    Thank you,

  • Sartre

    PM: My faith is intact, thank you very much. In leaving the Church, in fact, I was able to SAVE my faith. I have joined a wonderful Episcopal Church with terrific parishioners, a married priest, a woman priest and beautiful people from all walks of life. I have finally found a safe place for my faith. The Catholic Church is not the end all and be all of faith in God. I urge all of you to find a save place for you and your families to worship the Creator and help others. Then, we can all begin to build the kingdom of God on earth, and not have to be distracted with this nonsense

  • PM

    If you think children are not protected by society, how about the elderly. The conduct of these attorneys and judge and their grand standing is a reason why there is no justice. They are only in it for the fame and fortune and running for re-election. Where are all the good public servants. Are they hiding under William Penn’s Hat? Where are the journalists that are doing any investigative reporting on this phenomenon as a whole. Police, tatoo artists. Why don’t you interview some medical authorities on pedophilia?

  • PM

    Society as a whole does not respect life from conception through natural death. To stop going to church because of the bad conduct of a few is ridiculous. Do you give up your citizenship because of our corrupt political system. Do you quit your job because of the illegal and unethical actions of co-workers or management. Your faith should not be compromised, only strenghened in a situation like this. The Evil One wins on all counts if he corrupts the perpetrator, the victim, and others. The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Philadelphia is here to stay, and will survive this dark time. Without it, you try and guess the socio economic impact it would have on the poor and needy.

  • Peter

    The story does not match the headline

  • johan

    They need to pull the churches tax exemption, and any other charity organization involved in a crime.

  • grumpy

    I guess that they will have to close more schools to help pay for their cover ups!

  • Randy

    This is a sad situation. I was a Baptist, married a Catholic in 1986, and agreed my kids would be raised as Catholics. When these stories first started coming out in early 2000. I stopped going to mass. I am sure there are many good sincere Catholics that I feel for but the church has lost ALL moral authority. They just don’t get it after all these years. It is true the priest who committed these crimes should be punished and received counseling but the real crime is committed by to those church officials who covered this up for all those years. They need to be punished to the fullest extent of the law. They were accomplishes, after the fact, and must be held accountable. If there was a hint that these allegations were true they had a moral and legal obligation to report this to the local law enforcement authorities. To do any less, for any reason, is a crime.

  • Zzbar


    • Zzbar

      Oh. I’m not calling these abusers “scam”, get it.

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