By Tony Hanson
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – In the clergy child sexual abuse case, Monsignor William Lynn blames the late Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua for allowing predator priests to remain in ministry. But Lynn, who has pleaded not guilty, contends he did the best he could from his position as secretary for clergy.
Monsignor Lynn, his testimony tortured by inconsistencies as well as admissions of mistakes, prior misstatements and memory lapses, has been relentlessly challenged by the prosecutor, who has cited case after case of priests who were alleged or admitted sexual abusers of children — even officially diagnosed pedophiles who remained in ministry.
But Lynn, at times flustered, exasperated, combative, has maintained he did the best he could.
Lynn says the late Cardinal Bevilacqua ruled that only priests who were diagnosed pedophiles would be removed. A priest who admitted it could remain. Although, the prosecutor cited diagnosed pedophile priests who remained in ministry.
There were also priests that confessed who were not removed, even though Lynn had testified earlier he had the power to remove them in that situation, but he says the Cardinal’s policy was only diagnosed pedophiles were removed.
But Lynn has testified he knew what he was permitted to do and what he wasn’t permitted to do. The prosecutor has scoffed multiple times, “you were just following orders.”
Lynn will be back on the witness stand when the trial resumes on Tuesday.