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Monsignor William Lynn Released From Philadelphia County Prison, Chaput Defends Posting Bail

PHILADELPHIA (CBS/AP) – Monsignor William Lynn has been released from prison.

According to officials, Lynn was fitted with an electronic monitor and released from Philadelphia County Prison on Friday afternoon.

He reportedly must remain within city boundaries and is staying with an undisclosed relative until his Monday hearing.

On Thursday, Lynn was released from state prison, where he’d been housed for 18 months after being charged with child endangerment for reassigning sexually abusive priests to other parishes instead reporting them to law enforcement (see previous story).

Archbishop Charles Chaput said in a Friday letter to clergy and parishioners that helping Lynn come up with $25,000 to post 10 percent of his bail was “both reasonable and just.” He said Lynn remains on administrative leave and may not function in public as a priest.

Chaput described the appeals court decision as a matter of legal substance rather than technicalities.

Lynn “presents no danger to anyone,” the archbishop wrote. “He poses no flight risk. The funding for his bail has been taken from no parish, school or ministry resources, impacts no ongoing work of the church and will be returned when the terms of bail are completed. Nor does it diminish in any way our determination to root out the possibility of sexual abuse from the life of our local church.”

David Clohessy, director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, said Chaput has refused to “take harsh, clear disciplinary measures against those who hurt or let others hurt kids.”

“Here’s the message Chaput sends … by bailing out Lynn: ‘No matter how egregiously you misbehave and how many kids you endanger, we in the church hierarchy will continue to support you even if you’re found guilty at trial,'” Clohessy said.

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten)

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