PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Debbie and Mike McIlmail say they couldn’t stomach watching the video, on Tuesday, of Msgr. William Lynn leaving state prison.
“My son was abused because of his decisions,” said Mike. Sean McIlmail was a sixth grader at Resurrection Parish School when it’s alleged that he was molested by Father Robert Brennan. Sean kept quiet about what allegedly occurred for a dozen years, until one day in 2012.
“I was blown away. I’m thinking wow. Everything I was always taught about the Catholic Church…a lie.” Mike said.
Sean made a report to police, all the while his parents say he was fighting a drug addiction. Just days before he would testify against Brennan at a hearing, he died from an overdose. Sean was 26.
His parents hold Msgr. William Lynn responsible for bringing Brennan into their lives. “He is responsible for so much pain and suffering,” Mike said.
Lynn was the first US church official to be held criminally responsible for transferring pedophile priests from parish to parish. Brennan was a high-profile name in a grand jury investigation, suspected of numerous cases of sex abuse.
Lynn’s conviction has since been overturned – and he’ll face a retrial.
Lynn’s attorney tells CBS 3, the Monsignor was never once responsible for transferring a priest. That power, Thomas Bergstrom says, rested with the late Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua.
The McIlmails disagree. “He knew what he was doing,” Debbie said. “At some point, these priests have to become moral human beings.”
A spokesman for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia declined to comment for this story. However, they did confirm that Brennan’s ministry was permanently restricted in 2005. Lynn is set to be before a Philadelphia judge on Thursday morning.