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Expert On Church Law Testifies In Priest Sex Abuse Case

By Tony Hanson

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – An expert in Catholicism and church law, testifying in the clergy abuse case, has provided damning testimony of past conduct of Philadelphia Archdiocesan officials and he grew suddenly upset while condemning alleged actions of the late Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua.

Father Thomas Doyle has testified Archdiocesan officials had a duty to fully investigate allegations of child abuse by priests and to take appropriate action, including removing dangerous priests from ministry, which authorities allege the Archdiocese — and specifically, defendant Monsignor William Lynn — did not do.

And, when asked about evidence the late Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua ordered shredded a list of admitted and suspected predator priests, Father Doyle exploded, saying that is like obstructing justice, cubed.

But, the defense highlighted that it was Monsignor Lynn who compiled that list. The defense says he did the right thing in trying to identify predator priests and the Monsignor had nothing to do with the shredding.

The defense also emphasized it was the Cardinal, not Monsignor Lynn, who had final authority on priest placements.

The grand jury considered charges, but did not charge the late cardinal, who died earlier this year. He had denied wrongdoing.

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