JUDAS PRIESTS: The Top Priority Of The Archdiocese Was Never Protecting The Rape Victims Of Pedo Priests, It Was Protecting The Archdiocese


PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER: That portrait of Lynn drawn from his grand jury testimony — an innocent, inexperienced priest thrust into a job that required the training of a lawyer, detective and psychologist — has been a mainstay of his defense in the landmark Common Pleas Court trial in which he accused of enabling pedophile priests to continue to prey on children. City prosecutors today continued trying to undercut that portrait using documents from the church’s Secret Archives on abusive priests that were turned over to prosecutors in February on the eve of the trial. A 2002 memo from Bishop Joseph Cistone to Lynn, introduced by Assistant District Attorney Patrick Blessington, refers to the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference, the church’s lobbying arm in Harrisburg, and its effort to prevent the legislature from extending the deadline for purported victims of sexual abuse by priests to file lawsuits against the church. A 1994 memo calls to Lynn’s attention the special committee created by Bevilacqua and other Pennsylvania prelates trying to come up with ways to safeguard Secret Archives documents from being subpoenaed for use in civil lawsuits filed by victims of clergy sexual abuse. The documents introduced by Blessington were part of a cache of papers — including a list of pedophile priests compiled by Lynn in 1994 — that Archdiocesan lawyers say were shredded on Bevilacqua’s orders. Lynn himself described the list and documents to the grand jury eight years ago but testified that he was unable to find them. MORE