PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – A Philadelphia judge has ordered that medical experts will be allowed to examine Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua to determine if he is competent to testify in the alleged clergy abuse case.
Cardinal Bevilacqua is not charged in the case (see related story) but Monsignor William Lynn, secretary for clergy under the cardinal, is. Along with three other priests and a lay teacher charged with abusing and endangering children, Lynn is accused of routinely transferred predator priests to maintaining their good standing and, consequently, their access to children.
Authorities want to question Bevilacqua about how the allegations of abuse by priests were handled, but they can’t do that until the judge determines if the cardinal is competent to testify.
Attorneys for the cardinal contend that he is unable to testify because he suffers from cancer and dementia.
The judge, concerned about pretrial publicity, has also continued his gag order so attorneys cannot comment on the case.
Trial is scheduled for the spring. All five men have pleaded not guilty (see related story).
Reported by Tony Hanson, KYW Newsradio 1060