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By MICHELE M. BETTI | b&a opinions | http://bettiandassociates.com

Msgr. William Lynn of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia was found guilty of child endangerment for his alleged cover-up of priests’ sexual abuse of children who were under his control.

Last year, a Pennsylvania jury found him guilty of child endangerment for allowing a priest accused of sexual abuse to continue to have contact with children.

In overturning his conviction, the court said it could not dispute there was more than adequate evidence presented at trial showing Msgr. Lynn had prioritized the Archdiocese’s reputation over the safety of potential victims of sexually abusive priests.  In spite of that, the court ruled that alone was not sufficient to prove Lynn was guilty of child endangerment, or had specific information the accused priest intended or was preparing to molest any other child.

Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams said he will appeal the decision, and that Lynn would remain in prison during any appeal.

Other Catholic leaders around the country are under scrutiny for their handling of the abuse scandal and may face criminal charges themselves.

After the ruling, spokespersons for the Roman Catholic Church did not hesitate to reiterate the Church’s commitment to assist and support survivors of sexual abuse toward healing and the Church’s dedicated efforts to ensure that all young people in their care are safe.

“This is an empty public relations’ statement,” said Michele Betti of Betti & Associates, attorney and advocate for child sexual abuse survivors.  “The truth is the Church does not help victims.  Just look at the documents released and yet to be released which show a patent disregard for the welfare of children.”

As early as the 1920s documents show how the Catholic Church knew which priests were abusing children.  Documents depict the Church sending pedophile priests to psychologists and institutions like St. Luke’s Institute and Servants of the Paraclete to treat priest pedophilia.

And these documents also show that even when psychologists says the priest is not well, the Church still puts the priest back into circulation with children.  Archbishops, Bishops, Vicar for Clergy are knowingly and intentionally placing these pedophile priests in parishes where they know they will have free reign with little boys and girls.  “This knowledge and intentional conduct is the epitome of child endangerment,” said Michele Betti.

As quoted in the Wall Street Journal, David Clohessy, Director of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests said, “This ruling gives corrupt Catholic officials encouragement to continue deceiving police, stonewalling prosecutors, ignoring victims, destroying evidence, fabricating alibis, hiding crimes, and protecting pedophiles.”

The O.J. Simpson case is the perfect example of why justice these days can only be found in the civil courts.  The only way the family got justice in that case was to sue O.J. in civil court.  If District Attorney’s would start charging the employers of priests, i.e., Archbishops, Bishops, Vicars of Clergy who knowingly transfer these pedophiles from one parish to another then the cycle of abuse would stop.  Until then, children will continue to be put in harms way.

Copyright 2013, b&a opinions.