Victims appalled over the release of Philadelphia Catholic priest but Donohue is doing cartwheels

THIS week saw the successful appeal of Monsignor William Lynn who, in 2012, had been jailed for shielding an abusive priest. Lynn’s appeal court victory, according to this report, is seen not only as a setback for victims’ advocates:

But one with a substantial and discouraging message for their cause: none of the churchmen implicated in cover-ups during the worst decades of abuse will likely ever face charges.

Monsignor William Lynn

Monsignor William Lynn

Lynn’s conviction was seen as a landmark verdict because until then no one in the upper echelons of the Catholic Church had ever faced a trial or been found guilty for shielding molesters.

Lynn, who oversaw clergy and fielded abuse complaints for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia from 1992 to 2004, was sentenced to three to six years on one count of child endangerment.

During the past few decades, a number of abusers have been convicted, and many defrocked. But public outrage was largely directed against the bishops and senior church officials like Lynn who, as the appeals court noted in its ruling on December 26:

Prioritized the archdiocese’s reputation over the safety of potential victims of sexually abusive priests.

But the appeals ruling also said that Lynn’s behaviour, while outrageous to much of the Catholic faithful and the wider public, did not violate the child welfare law in place at the time of the abuse.

Bill Donohue

Bill Donohue

The Catholic Defense League’s Bill Donohue was cock-a-hoop over the verdict, and commented:

The guilty parties that worked overtime to convict an innocent man – they include attorneys, judges, newspapers, professional ‘victims’ groups’, activists, TV talking heads – have been disgraced. This is a monumental win for justice, and a tremendous setback for anti-Catholic bigots. Their goal is to “get a bishop’, and if that doesn’t work, then they settle for the next in line. They are fundamentally dishonest, and now they have been disabled.

He accused then Philadelphia District Attorney Lynne Abraham of beginning “this witch-hunt”.

She was authorized to pursue sexual misconduct in all religious communities, but instead she selectively chose to focus exclusively on Catholics – and then she passed the baton to her successor, Seth Williams. All of them knew that Msgr Lynn did not know, or know of, the drug-addicted, lying, scheming, accuser, Billy Doe.

They also knew that laws applied ex post facto (eg, the 2007 amendment of the 1972 child endangerment statute) would not stand scrutiny on appeal. But none of this mattered.

So how does the Philadelphia Inquirer feel today? It refused $58,000 from the Catholic League for an ad earlier in the year that told the truth about this subject. How does David Clohessy, the vindictive, weeping, professional ‘victims’ group’ head feel? How do rapacious lawyers like Jeffrey Anderson, Rebecca Randles, and Marci Hamilton feel?

Msgr Lynn spent 18 months in prison because of dishonest people who harbor an anti-Catholic agenda. We expect he will soon be released. God bless him.

And he concluded:

Congratulations to Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput and attorney Thomas A  Bergstrom for staying the course. Congrats also to Ralph Cipriano who tenaciously reported on this case. And most especially, congrats to Msgr Lynn’s family for persevering through this unjust trail of events.

Lynn will not be immediately set free. Defence lawyers hoped for his immediate release from the state prison in Waymart, but the appeals court denied their request, instead sending the bail issue back to the trial court. That could put Lynn back before Common Pleas Judge M Teresa Sarmina, who had repeatedly denied defenc efforts to have the case dropped before trial.

Prosecutors vowed to oppose bail and challenge Thursday’s 43-page ruling.

District Attorney Seth Williams said in a statement:

Because we will be appealing, the conviction still stands for now, and the defendant cannot be lawfully released until the end of the process.

His office had argued at trial that Lynn reassigned known predators to new parishes in Philadelphia while he was the archdiocese’s secretary for clergy from 1992 to 2004. Lynn’s conviction stems from the case of one priest, Edward Avery, found to have abused a child in 1998 after such a transfer.

Said David Clohessy, director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests:

We know thousands of betrayed Catholics and wounded victims will be disheartened by this news.

Hat tip: Canada Dave



19 responses to “Victims appalled over the release of Philadelphia Catholic priest but Donohue is doing cartwheels”

  1. L.Long says:

    Money laundering is considered a crime but they have done nothing to any one but they are helping to cover up the illegal gains.

    But for a priest covering up the pedio crimes is innocent and any crime.

    Talk about a double standard; but then this is the Theocratic States of America.

    And I feel sorry for any kids harmed. I feel NOTHING for their brain washed sheeple parents. In one way this goes to the point….RCC sheeple STOP swallowing the BS, grow the phuck up become responsible adults and leave the RCC and tell the pope to shove his head up jesus’ ass.

  2. barriejohn says:

    All Roman Catholics are complicit in child abuse, as they lend their support to an organization which has shielded known and habitual perpetrators.

  3. Broga says:

    The way ahead: Lynn will have experienced a new relationship with Jesus; Lynn will have, as a result, achieved a sanctity previously unmatched; he will want to return to serve his flock. This has happened before and this is the theocracy of the USA.

    Frankie might even promote him or at least provide him with a luxurious pad and sinecure in Rome. Benny, the alternative Pope, seems to be living in super comfort.

    I’ve been reading about the ancient Christians – as one does – and Jesus seems to have anticipated, and provided a solution to, the paedophilia in the RC church. He says that some have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven’s sake. “He that is able to receive it, let him receive it.” That’s straightforward and it must be true as it is in St Matthew.

    Origen 185 – 254 CE went the distance and castrated himself. So the precedent is there. Could this be the solution Frankie is seeking. It might be a tad off putting for those thinking of entering a seminary.

  4. Trevor Blake says:

    Sheltering clergy who rape children has been the official policy of the Roman Catholic Church since 1962, when Pope John XXII issued the “Crimine Solicitaciones.” The Holy See is its own nation, and so clergy who rape children are sometimes not even arrested because of diplomatic immunity. The Crimine Solicitaciones has never been renounced and is current policy of the Roman Catholic Church.

    Just what would happen if a secular group did the same thing. Say, for example, that Amnesty International sheltered rapists. The entire organization would be dismantled from top to bottom. Or imagine that another nation besides the Holy See had the same policy, that Sweden hit its rapists. The world would go to war. But because it’s a faith-based group, the Roman Catholic Church shelters clergy who rape for decades on end. Recently there have been a hand-full of clergy who take a fall for the rest, but the policy remains.

  5. Caute says:

    Religio Power politics at work here. Big names (god, jesus, and assorted saints, and officials of the rcc) are under serious threat. Big bucks with which to pay off attorneys, politicians and lobbyists are being used to overturn justice. The public will see what’s is going on and will turn even more against the filthy rcc. And the sanctimonious B O’R will be even more widely recognised as the excremental bigmouth that he is. When the rational caring non catholic people speak Bill the shit has to shut up and listen.

  6. charlie says:

    America, what a country.
    At least he has to stay in jail for now.
    @ Broga, wonder how many they’d have going into “the calling” if castration was a requirement to become a priest. It could be held off until graduation day, a final “gift” from doG as it were.

  7. Ivan says:

    There is only one word for Donohue and that word is “sick”.

    Indeed, his level of self-obsession and entitlement makes one wonder if he is an actual sociopath.

  8. Graham Martin-Royle says:

    The guilty parties that worked overtime to convict an innocent man –

    The only innocents in this saga were the children abused by priest. He is as guilty as it’s possible to be, he may not be a peadophile himself but he sheltered them.

    If this arsehole wants to try me for libel, please bring it on.

  9. JohnMWhite says:

    @Graham Martin-Royle: I noted that little comment from Donohue as well. The innocent in this case is a priest who left children in the clutches of a man he knew was a danger to them, and who got off on a technicality due to the laws on the books at the time apparently not being far-reaching enough? He hasn’t a shred of sympathy or compassion for the victims, but he crows with delight at their pain as they see the system that failed them at every turn offer them only a final slap in the face.

    What a genuinely awful human being, and it troubles me greatly that he is so, so terrible largely because he is a Catholic. I hate to tar an entire community with the same brush, but by this point you can’t be Catholic without knowing what you have been propping up all your life, and those who have doubled-down and entrenched themselves in the faith rather than fled it have no excuses left. They want to be in a paedophile-protecting cult, and they want their cult to get away with its crimes.

    One can only hope that if the courts aren’t up to the job, the new Pope might start busting heads. Fat chance, naturally; for all his welcome preaching on income inequality, social justice and not making “hate the gays and the womens” priority number one, Francis seems to have steered very clear of the sexual abuse issue.

  10. andym says:

    Tells us all we need to know. The Monseigneur gets off on a technicality, and Donohue is pissing his pants in excitement. The basic fact that he knew about the abusive behaviour and did nothing, are not in doubt. So much for a duty of care. Fortunately , the prosecution seems confident of overturning this.

  11. barriejohn says:

    Donohue’s use of the term professional ‘victims’ groups’ is truly nauseating. It’s obvious how he views them. I find it almost unbelievable.

  12. Robster says:

    The whole catholic church, at least to those with a brain, has been reduced to the status of that strange smelly uncle the family wants nothing to do with. It’s a creaking mess of lies and fraud that deserves no respect in any way and it’s on the way to becoming a nasty historic stain best forgotten.

  13. 1859 says:

    I would like to know on what grounds his appeal has been successful – either he knew he was relocating a priest with paedophile tendencies (therefore he IS guilty) or he didn’t (therefore he’s innocent)?

    And if a priest did ask his Monsignor to be transferred to another parish, is it not incumbent upon the Monsignor to do a very, very thorough investigation as to the reasons the priest wants the transfer? Especially in today’s climate with catholic paedophiles hiding behind every tree? Without reasons backed up by concrete evidence, it sounds very fishy to me…

  14. AgentCormac says:

    Donohue once again proves himself to be among the most contemptible human beings on the planet.

  15. Broga says:

    The attitude of the RC church and its supporters is clear. Whatever a priest does is an innocent activity because he is a priest. Whoever criticises a priest must be wrong because they criticised a priest.

    Once those are understood as the unassailable facts everything else must be used as a means to support them. And that is what is happening.

  16. andym says:

    1859. I don’t think the fact that he did hide a paedophile from the law is in doubt. It’s just that the judge is saying it didn’t violate the law as it stood at the time. I can’t understand why no one’s attempted to prosecute a cleric with conspiracy.

  17. Matt+Westwood says:

    @andym: “I can’t understand why no one’s attempted to prosecute a cleric with conspiracy.”

    I can’t help but read that in a sarcastic tone of voice.