Jail for a grave sin of omission
Jail for a grave sin of omission
5:12 PM, Jul 30, 2012
From the link: http://www.app.com/article/20120731/NJOPINION01/307310012/Jail-grave-sin-omission?odyssey=mod|newswell|text|Opinion|p&nclick_check=1
Msgr. William Lynn did not rape a child. He did not molest a child.
But he will go to prison for at least three years because those awful things happened to children. And it is justice — long, long overdue justice — that sends an important message across the United States and, hopefully, around the world.
A few Catholic priests who for years molested and assaulted children have been sent to prison in this country. They are, unfortunately, only a handful among the guilty, most of whom will never face deserved time behind bars because they’ve died or statutes of limitation have run out or because there isn’t enough evidence left to ensure a conviction.
Lynn, though, is the first Catholic official convicted in the United States solely for the crime of covering up sex abuse claims. The former secretary of clergy for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia was found guilty last month by a jury in Philadelphia of felony child endangerment.
Lynn learned in 1992 that now-defrocked priest Edward Avery abused a boy years earlier. Lynn sent Avery for treatment at a church-run facility that diagnosed him with an alcohol problem, not a sexual disorder.
Avery was subsequently returned to the ministry in Philadelphia and sexually assaulted an altar boy in 1999. Avery is serving a 2½- to five-year sentence for that crime.
Of course, it was more than just that episode. As Judge M. Teresa Sarmina noted in sentencing Lynn, she was convinced that he stayed in his job and kept quiet when the then-head of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, the late Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua, had a list of priests accused of sex abuse destroyed.
There is nothing — no boss, no institution, no tradition — that serves as any valid excuse for not taking action to stop a pedophile.
That lesson is being learned now, too late, at Penn State. Top officials there who didn’t call police right away to stop Jerry Sandusky from continuing to assault boys rightly face criminal charges for allegedly lying to a grand jury about their role in a cover-up.
The old maxim, “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing,” applies here. But doing nothing in the face of the sexual exploitation of children is not the act of good men and compounds the evil.
If doing nothing to stop sexual assaults is criminal, it must be punished. The Catholic Church for years has largely demonstrated an unwillingness to see that punishment is doled out.
So we applaud Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams for pursuing this case and getting a conviction against Lynn.
We only hope that it’s the first domino to fall and that other church officials around the world who hid pedophile priests, allowing the abuse of children to continue, get the punishment that’s due them.
Posted on July 31, 2012, in Child Sex Abuse, Clergy Abuse, Clergy Sex Abuse, Priest Child Sex Abuse, Religion, Roman Catholic Church, Roman Catholic Church Sex Abuse and tagged Bill Donohue, Bishop Lynn, Bishop William Lynn, Cardinal Dolan, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Catholic League, Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, child abuse, child molestation, child molesters, child rape, child rapists, child sex abuse, children, clergy abuse, crimes against children, pedophile, pedophile priests, pedophilles, perverted priests, pope benedict XVI, Priest Edward Avery, priest rape, priest sex abuse, priests, religion, roman catholic church, roman catholic church sex scandal, roman catholic clergy, Roman Catholic Sex Abuse, roman catholics, sex abuse, victims of rape, William A Donohue, William Donohue. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.