OK, so we have all watched enough bad movies which paint the Catholic Church and the Vatican as nothing more than the Mafia with good public relations. Everyone knows what I’m talking about.
But I have to say that the case of accused priest Mgsr. William J. Lynn gets more curious as the days go on. Let’s face it, none of us has the skinny on what transpired within the church over the years. There have been numerous cases of priests being accused of sexual assault, molesting young children. And the church has either settled the cases quietly (or not so) or shipped the priests from parish to parish which is at the heart of the matter involving Mgsr. Lynn.
Mgsr. Lynn, formerly of St. Joseph’s of Downingtown, is facing trial for allegedly enabling priests to continue their alleged evil ways.
Where the case has become strange – and ripe for a Hollywood movie for any producer with the chutzpah to do it – is what’s transpired over the last few weeks. And believe me, the developments have raised several eyebrows, including those of yours truly.
Last month, Cardinal Anthony J. Bevilacqua, who led the Philadelphia Archdiocese from 1988 to 2003, died. His death came a day after a judge ruled his videotaped deposition from last November was admissible in the pending criminal case.
The fact that the cardinal passed away a day after that ruling certainly raised some eyebrows, to the point that the Montgomery County coroner’s office was asked by county law enforcement to investigate his death. After all, the timing was strange to say the least. Montco authorities did just that and ruled nothing strange took place and that it was all just a coincidence.
OK, but that still didn’t stop many of us from keeping that raised eyebrow, well, raised.
Now it gets even stranger.
According to an article in The Inquirer (http://bit.ly/wYeWaq) attorneys for Msgr. Lynn have filed documents in court making some startling new accusations. According to the story and detailed in the court filing, Bevilacqua ordered two key aides in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia to shred all copies of a 1994 memo that identified 35 priests suspected of sexually abusing children.
“The order, outlined in a handwritten note locked away for years at the archdiocese’s Center City offices, was disclosed Friday by lawyers for Msgr. William J. Lynn, the former church administrator facing trial next month.
“They say the shredding directive proves what Lynn has long claimed: that a church conspiracy to conceal clergy sex abuse was orchestrated at levels far above him.
“’It is beyond doubt that Msgr. Lynn was completely unaware of this act of obstruction,’ attorneys Jeffrey Lindy and Thomas Bergstrom wrote,” says the article.
So now the theory is that the higher-ups of the Archdiocese knew about the abuse, sanctioned it and then ordered documents shredded in order to protect those in power.
Does anyone else find it curious that these documents have surfaced since the Cardinal has died?
Well, according to the Inquirer, the latest motion asks the court to dismiss the conspiracy and endangerment charges against Lynn, or to bar prosecutors from introducing Bevilacqua’s videotaped testimony at trial. Well, wouldn’t that be convenient?
And, oh, by the way, the priest who wrote the memo is also dead…
So with all of this surrounding the case, is it any wonder anyone believes anything the church has to say? I understand the job of the lawyers is to get their client off but really, are we really to believe the authenticity of a document until now that no one knew about? And it comes to light after Bevilacqua’s death? And the guy who supposedly wrote it is also dead?
Sorry, but now the plot has gotten to the point of just plain silly. I applaud the lawyers for their loyalty and diligence but it seems to me that all they’ve done is ruined whatever credibility Lynn has left.
Can we just get on with this trial and move on?
— Andy Hachadorian