“You knew full well what was right, Monsignor Lynn, but you chose wrong.”--Common Pleas Judge M. Teresa Sarmina, sentencing Monsignor William J. Lynn to three to six years in prison forcovering up sexual abuse by priests in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.
Monsignor Lynn is the first Roman Catholic official to be held legally accountable for covering up the sexual abuse of children. Specifically, he was convicted for his role in shuffling around predator Edward V. Avery, who, despite a psychiatric evaluation that said he should be kept away from children, was re-assigned to a parish without any restrictions. Avery subsequently raped another child.
Lynn's defense, that he was bound to obey the instructions of Cardinal Anthony J. Bevilacqua, is a thin one indeed. "I was following orders" isn't a defense in war crimes, and it should not be a defense in the enabling of a predator, either. That it was even attempted speaks volumes about the place of rape culture in our society.