US Catholic Faith in Real Life

Breaking: Verdict reached in Lynn trial

By Elizabeth Lefebvre | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare

In breaking news out of Philadelphia today, the jury has reached a verdict in the landmark trial of Msgr. William Lynn, who was facing two counts of child endangerment and one count of conspiracy to cover up the sexual abuse of children committed by priests. The jury found Lynn guilty on one charge of endangerment, though he was acquitted from the other two charges. Lynn’s trial was the first time that a church leader was prosecuted and convicted for failing to stop abuses, whereas other trials have only been against offending priests.

These rulings come after more than two months of testimony in Lynn's criminal trial. One consequence of the abuse scandal in Philly (and across the nation) has been the budget crisis due to the amount of money--over $11 million in the last two fiscal years--spent on legal fees. Also today, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia announced that it would be laying off more than 40 diocesan employees and shutting down its newspaper.

 In the June issue of U.S. Catholic, we published the results of a reader survey on the sex abuse crisis, where 86% of respondents agreed that the church lost at least some of its credibility to speak on moral issues as a result of the scandals. The general consensus from the survey? Things are better than they were, but there is still much room for progress.

What will happen going forward? Will there be any positive change or confidence gained with the results of Lynn's trial?

Related: My friend, the abuser

Take it to the board: How effective are lay review boards in preventing sex abuse?