On the same day as Jerry Sandusky was found guilty on 45 counts, the archdiocese of Philadelphia also received a strong verdict. Many had expected more in this case, but it is still a groundbreaking decision. Covering up crimes may now be viewed differently following this case.
A jury convicted Msgr. William J. Lynn of child endangerment Friday, finding that as the Archdiocese of Philadelphia secretary for clergy, he ignored credible warning signs about a priest who later sexually assaulted a 10-year-old altar boy.In the Sandusky case, there was brief mention of an appeal, though that sounds unlikely. What sounds much more likely is even more trouble for Penn State who is being sued for covering up the scandal, not unlike what we saw in the Philadelphia church trial.
The verdict, after a three-month trial, marked the first time since the clergy sex-abuse scandal erupted nationally a decade ago that a Catholic Church supervisor had been found criminally liable for child-sex crimes by a priest.
Common Pleas Court Judge M. Teresa Sarmina immediately revoked Lynn's bail, and deputy sheriffs escorted the white-haired monsignor to a holding cell. Lynn faces up to seven years in prison, and prosecutors vowed to seek a term near the maximum.
Having just spent a week in the Philadelphia area, I was floored with number of people who minimized the scandal. Too many people limited the story to Sandusky rather than the the school administration as well as the legendary Joe Paterno. There were plenty of people who were as disgusted as most outside of Pennsylvania but the continued support for Paterno was too much.
I know how irrational college football fans can be (my school is right up there with Penn State, Michigan and Notre Dame fans in terms of being irrational and sometimes delusional) but wow, the inability to see the depths of this problem was amazing. Perhaps the next round of civil lawsuits against the school and individuals may change some opinions, or at least I hope that's what happens. But then again, there are still plenty of supporters of the Catholic church despite the global child rape problems.