Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Church official called keeper of secrets in U.S. abuse case

Church official called keeper of secrets in U.S. abuse case    reuters
(Reuters) - One of the most closely watched child sex abuse trials involving the Roman Catholic Church began on Monday with a prosecutor asserting that Monsignor William Lynn was the "keeper of secrets" and his lawyer countering that he alone tried to stop the abuse.
At the center of opening arguments in the case against Lynn, the most senior cleric to stand trial in the church's sex abuse scandal, was the Philadelphia Archdiocese's "secret archive" of files containing information about hundreds of suspect priests.
Lynn, 61, is charged with endangering the welfare of children and conspiracy for covering up allegations against priests. He faces a maximum of 28 years in prison if convicted of all counts.
Lynn served as secretary of the clergy under the late Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua, Philadelphia's archbishop from 1988 to 2003. That made Lynn, in effect, the personnel director for 800 priests, responsible for investigating sex abuse claims.
His lawyer said on Monday that Lynn tried to stop the abuse, going so far as to comb through the "secret archive" to make a list of 35 clergy who were involved in abusive conduct or were classified with a sexual disorder.  Lynn gave that list to Bevilacqua in 1994,  ......
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