June 23, 2012

Catholic Official Convicted of Endangerment

William LynnI trust you've heard the big news out of Philadelphia by now. Monsignor William Lynn just became the first Catholic official in the U.S. to be convicted of mishandling sex-abuse claims. Essentially, Lynn was made aware of allegations of clergy abuse and enabled it to continue by reassigning the alleged perpetrators to unsuspecting parishes. He is expected to serve 3.5 to 7 years in prison.

The case is widely being considered a landmark because it is the first time that a church official has been convicted of this sort of thing in the U.S. I sincerely hope that this case opens the door to additional prosecutions and forces religious organizations to place potential victims above their institution. I also hope that prosecutors continue to move up the chain of command and go after higher ranking church officials, particularly the bishops.

For more, see High-ranking priest guilty on one count in child sex abuse case.

Update (December 2013): After spending one year in jail, a court has ordered that Lynn be released.

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