"I had sex with three boys in a week": Staggering ’joke’ of priest accused of abusing children for years
The startling testimony came in the trial of Monsignor William Lynn, 61, who is accused of helping the Philadelphia archdiocese bury priest abuse complaints in secret files.
Lynn, who faces charges of child endangerment and conspiracy, is the first Roman Catholic church official to be charged in the U.S. for his handling of priest abuse complaints.
The scandal of child sex abuse by Catholic priests has reverberated internationally, and caused a worldwide crisis of faith in the Roman church.
Prosecutors are detailing allegations made against nearly two dozen priests since 1948 to show Lynn and other officials kept suspected predators in jobs around children.
Giving evidence, a detective read internal church memos about a priest who is said to have ’joked about how hard it was to have sex with three boys in one week.’
The priest’s accuser also alleged that the priest had a ’rotation process’ of boys spending time sleeping with him.
Jurors also heard testimony telling of a 1992 complaint about a priest accused of molesting boys at a church-owned camp three decades earlier.
Several junior counselors complained in the early Sixties that the priest was on the prowl at night, molesting them in their tents.
They said it was a well-known secret among teenage counselors for several years.
The priest remained in ministry, working at three archdiocesan high schools and serving as assistant superintendent of Catholic schools through 2004.
Confronted after a man complained to the archdiocese in 1992, he admitted the ’sin’ of masturbation and said he had read up on that subject because so many people were mentioning it in the confessional.
Lynn is mobbed by reporters as he leaves court in Philadelphia: His defence claims that his efforts to address the problem were blocked by senior churchmen.
Defence lawyers have argued that Lynn, who was secretary for clergy from 1992 to 2004, tried to address the problem.
In cross-examination yesterday, Jeffrey Lindy and Thomas Bergstrom, defending, had detectives concede that Lynn promptly interviewed both complainants and accused priests and sent the priests to a church-run hospital for mental health evaluations and treatment.
However, they claim many of his efforts were blocked by the late Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua and others in the Philadelphia archdiocese.
Cardinal Bevilacqua died of heart disease on January 31, a day after he was ruled competent to testify at Lynn’s trial.
Few victims or members of the public have been attending the trial, but retired Philadelphia detective Arthur Baselice Jr, of Mantua, New Jerset, turned out yesterday.
His 28-year-old son, Arthur Baselice III, died of a drug overdose in 2006 after his civil lawsuit against the church accusing his high school principal of molesting him was thrown out because of legal time limits.
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The former principal, a Franciscan friar, is in prison for stealing nearly $900,000 from the school and the Franciscans, some of which fed younger Baselice’s drug addiction, according to prosecutors.
The man who wrote to the archdiocese in 1992 about the camp prowler was by then a 44-year-old married father of five girls.
The priest he accused was chaplain of a suburban Philadelphia girls’ high school.
He remained there until 2004, when a church panel reviewing complaints in the wake of the national priest abuse scandal found the allegations against him credible.
He only then admitted molesting three boys and explained earlier denials on the fact he had confessed and moved past it.
The archdiocese restricted his ministry — 40 years after the camp allegations first surfaced.
Also yesterday, two jurors were replaced by alternates, but a gag order prevents lawyers from discussing the reasons for the move.
Article from: dailymail.co.uk