Originally published on Fri June 22, 2012 12:54 pm
By Eyder Peralta
Credit Matt Rourke / AP
A jury found Msgr. William J. Lynn, of Philadelphia, guilty on one count of endangerment stemming from allegations that he helped coverup the sexual abuse of children by Catholic priests. Lynn was acquitted of another count of endangerment and one count of conspiracy, the AP reports.
Elizabeth Fiedler of member station WHYY reports that the jury was hung on rape and endangerment charges against Lynn's co-defendant Rev. James J. Brennan.
In a Philadelphia courtroom, jurors are hearing closing arguments in a historic case involving the Catholic sex abuse scandal. William Lynn, a monsignor in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, is the first high-level church official to be tried for his involvement in covering up child abuse, specifically, conspiracy and children endangerment.
A clergy sex-abuse trial is intensifying in a Philadelphia courtroom. One defendant is James Brennan, a priest accused of trying to rape a minor.
What's drawing attention is the second defendant, Monsignor William Lynn. Lynn is the first high-level Catholic official to be criminally prosecuted — not for abusing minors himself, but for failing to protect children from predator priests.
The archbishop of Philadelphia announced that five priests were "not suitable for ministry." It was the Catholic Church's first action since it suspended 27 priests last year when a grand jury report accused church officials of ignoring allegations of sex abuse.
The AP reports that Archbishop Charles J. Chaput said three other priests would return to the ministry and that one priest died in the process of the investigation. Chaput did not immediately announce the fate of the 17 others investigated.