Thursday, July 26, 2012

Gerald T. Slevin: Philly DA Must Go Higher

Jerry Slevin has sent one of his wonderful postings.  This one focuses on the unfinished business after Msgr. Lynn has been sentenced in Philadelphia.  What follows is Jerry's statement:

At Lynn's trial, he and his lawyers presented overwhelming evidence that Lynn followed his Cardinal bosses' orders that resulted in child endangerment. The lawyers were selected under Cardinal Rigali and paid huge sums by the Philly Archdiocese (Philly AD).

Rigali was one of Lynn's bosses.  Lynn served under him, several months as priest personnel chief and almost 8 years as a pastor.  Obviously, Lynn filled Rigali in on the "bad priests" and then Rigali learned further details as top man in the Philly AD for almost 8 years until several months ago.

Last year, after receiving his second disastrous Philly Grand Jury priest abuse report in barely five years, Rigali still tried to deny having pedophile priests still actively on board.  After some public pressure and perhaps new lawyers' advice, he quickly reversed himself and in March of last year suspended 36 priests for suspected misconduct with minors.  Since then, Rigali's sudden replacement, Archbishop Chaput, has sacked some of these suspected priests, yet Chaput continues to stall on many of them.  It is not clear why he is stalling and whether it relates to trying to protect Rigali.

If Rigali's evident carrying of 36 alleged pedophiles, some for years it appears, isn't a "prima face" case for child endangerment, it is hard to see what is.  Lynn got 6 years for carrying one pedophile, defrocked Fr. Avery!  Cardinal Rigali appears to make Joe Paterno look good!  Moreover, the Philly AD makes Penn State look like the minor leagues.

The Philly DA, who is mentioned in the media as a future mayoral prospect and may be hoping to retain the Philly AD's blessings, etc., has been slow to deal with the Rigali case, even failing to discuss it publicly fully and openly.  This must change promptly.

Philly Catholics are entitled to have their children protected from out-of-control rapists in priest garb and existing abuse survivors are entitled to some justice.

Lynn, by his misdeeds, surely earned his sentence; but his boss, Rigali, who profited most from Lynn's misdeeds, must now face justice.

Otherwise, the Philly case will just show U.S. bishops that they need only find a "fall-guy" clerical lackey like Lynn to avoid prosecution.  After (by Vatican experts' own recent estimates) over 100,000 American children having been sexually abused by priests, it is time for the Philly DA, Seth Williams, to do his duty and pursue charges against Rigali.  If Seth Williams doesn't, he will only be signaling to American bishops that they remain, in effect, immune from prosecution.

For more specific info on the continuing priest abuse mess in Philly and what must be done about it, please read, "Will the Philly Abuse Cover-Up of Bishops and Priests Ever End?", accessible by clicking here.  

For immediate reaction of Philly Catholics to Lynn's sentencing, including the moving comments by "Vicky" who is a survivor of Philly priest abuse and whose letter was referred to by the judge sentencing Msgr. Lynn, please click here.

For pertinent Lynn trial and grand jury evidence and background, which makes sickeningly clear that the Philly AD has been a pedophile priests' paradise, at least through Rigali's tenure that only ended some months ago, please look at the extensive and well-organized documents accessible by clicking here.

Cross-posted at Open Tabernacle, 26 July 2012.

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