PHILADELPHIA – A Roman Catholic church official says Philadelphia’s former archbishop ordered staff to keep alleged victims of priest sexual abuse in the dark about other accusers.
Monsignor William Lynn, taking the stand Wednesday in the groundbreaking child-endangerment and conspiracy case, also says the late Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua wouldn’t let parishes announce the real reason an accused priest was being removed.
Parishioners were often told their priest had health problems when he left for sex-offender treatment, according to testimony over the past nine weeks. Lynn says that “mental health” can be a health condition.
Lynn, the former secretary for clergy, is enduring a blistering cross-examination as he fights child-endangerment and conspiracy charges over his handling of complaints that priests were molesting children.