PHILADELPHIA -- Monsignor William Lynn, the most senior U.S. Catholic clergyman convicted in the church’s decades-long sex abuse scandal, was sentenced on Tuesday to three to six years in jail for covering up child sex abuse by priests in Philadelphia.
The sentence handed down by Judge M. Teresa Sarmina was less than the maximum penalty of seven years in prison for Lynn's conviction on a single count of child endangerment.
Sarmina said the sentence was meant to punish Lynn for protecting "monsters in clerical garb who molested children … to destroy the souls of children, to whom you turned a hard heart."
She added: "You knew full well what was right, Monsignor Lynn, but you chose wrong."
As the former secretary for the clergy for the Philadelphia Archdiocese, Lynn, 61, was essentially personnel director for 800 priests from 1992 to 2004. He was convicted last month of covering up the allegations by transferring predatory priests to unsuspecting parishes.
"I believe that what Lynn did was done by just about every diocese," Terence McKiernan, president of BishopAccountability.org, which tracks priest-abuse cases, told NBCPhiladelphia.com. "In most cases, I think the vicar general was well informed, and also the bishop."
More than 500 U.S. priests have now been convicted of abuse, according to his organization. But Lynn's three-month trial, he said, shows "just how hard it is to demonstrate collusion."
The part in big bold is really shocking to me. It got me VEXED, fam. And if I were Catholic, I would bring the Crusades back. You never really see Catholics rallying against this though. My parents are Catholic and whenever I try to tell them this they act like it's a fable (ironic ey?). I was watching the news awhile back and they had a story about a man who accused a priest of molesting him decades ago, and a few other adults ended up coming forward as well. But when they interviewed the head of the Diocese, the guy was totally arrogant and dismissed the alleged victims' claims. It was basically like, "we're gonna look after our priest and all of this will be forgotten soon." And the worst part is they interviewed people in the community and they pretty much leaned toward the Church's favor. That's not to say you should color someone guilty without gathering the facts, but c'mon, their track record isn't exactly clean and you're immediately skeptical of the person who claims to be the victim? It just doesn't make sense to me that Catholics don't rally against the church until child sex abuse is taken more seriously. This Monsignor Monster might as well get the rest of his life in prison.