High level Catholic church official guilty of pedophilia cover-up

This article was originally published on Examiner.com on June 23, 2012.



William J. Lynn is 61-years-old and a former Monsignor of the Philadelphia Archdiocese, and he has been convicted of child endangerment and now faces up to seven years in prison. He is one of the first high level Catholic church officials to be found guilty, as it relates to sexual abuse, in the history of The United States.

William Lynn convicted of endangerment

The former monsignor’s job description included overseeing a church that had over 1.5 million members, while being in charge of 800 priests and investigating them. Because he failed to investigate properly, there was no other person to investigate Lynn’s poor investigations between 1992 - 2004.

Lynn was convicted of covering-up the villainous behavior of accused pedophile priests for decades. In 1994 Lynn had compiled a list of 37 priests in the local archdiocese who were either confirmed, or suspected pedophiles with evidence.

The linchpin of this case for the prosecution boiled down to proving that William Lynn, by his actions, had put more children into harm’s way by attempting to protect the interests of the church rather than of children. He also faced other charges of conspiracy, but was acquitted.

An odd aspect of this case was the co-defendant, Rev. James J. Brennan, who was accused and acquitted of charges of rape and child endangerment. There was a deadlocked jury on the charges relating to the reverend, so the judge declared a mistrial. It is still possible, however, for the prosecution to re-indict Brennan again. They have not said what they plan to do moving forward.

Curiously, it is not disputed that William J. Lynn is not a pedophile. He was never accused of inappropriately touching children in anyway, but rather he is facing prison time now for facilitating their abuse. It is a crime that some say is equally as despicable as the abuse itself — to know a child is suffering under such torments only to look away and shuffle paperwork.

Now justice has found William Lynn, and hopefully it will also find the despicable heartless priests who were indeed behind the original abuse.