Prosecutors Plan To Show ‘Diocese-Wide Policy’ In Priest Sex Abuse Case

By Tony Hanson

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – While the unprecedented clergy abuse trial of former Monsignor William Lynn and two priests is set to begin Monday, the latest pre-trial hearing in the case makes clear the defendants won’t be the only ones on trial.

Two priests — one now defrocked — allegedly abused children, and Monsignor William Lynn is charged with endangering children by allowing these and other alleged predator priests to remain in ministry.

But, prosecutor Patrick Blessington said yesterday, they plan to present evidence showing there was “a diocese-wide policy that was criminal in nature.”

And the defense will attack the credibility of the accusers. Defense attorney Michael Wallace, who represents Edward Avery (now defrocked), has told the court the defense position is the incident alleged never happened. The allegations were fabricated by a troubled, drug abusing man who is out to make money and alleviate his own problems.

All three defendants have pleaded not guilty.

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One Comment

  1. Neil Allen says:

    Every priest, msgr, attorney, and bishop that knew about this and is protecting those that raped God’s children will burn for eternity.

  2. Maureen Paul Turlish says:

    Would that the Archdiocese of Philadelphia took the high road in this soon in this upcoming criminal case. Unfortunately, history shows that taking the high road and telling the truth about the extent of childhood sexual abuse by its clergy has not been the policy of its hierarchy no matter what the bishops mandated in 2002.

    Read the Philadelphia Grand Jury Reports. They show a policy of corruption which is beyond the pale; outrageously so for any religious denomination.

    Now the Archdiocese of Philadelphia intends to refuse the judge’s orders to produce records.


    Sister Maureen Paul Turlish
    Advocate for Victims & Legislative Reform

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