Last week, Archbishop Charles J. Chaput stopped by the Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility in Northeast Philadelphia, where Msgr. William J. Lynn is being held in protective custody.
The archbishop did not bring along his mitre or his crozier. He stayed for 90 minutes. But what the two men talked about is not known.
"Archbishop Chaput did visit with Monsignor Lynn," said Kenneth A. Gavin, a spokesman for the archdiocese. "Their conversation was private."
"It is my understanding that it was a positive visit and I think that's all I should say," said Thomas A. Bergstrom, the monsignor's defense lawyer.
A prison spokesman declined to discuss the archbishop's visit, except to say that Chaput was no stranger to the facility. Last Christmas, Chaput stopped by the prison gymnasium to say Mass for the inmates.
The monsignor remains behind bars, awaiting his sentencing July 24 in front of Judge M. Teresa Sarmina. He was convicted on June 22 of endangering the welfare of children, a third-class felony, and faces a prison sentence of between 3 1/2 and seven years.
On Tuesday, defense lawyers filed a motion in Limine that seeks to limit victims' testimony at Lynn's sentencing hearing.
On July 5, when Sarmina declined to let Lynn out of jail on house arrest, Assistant District Attorney Pat Blessington asserted that the prosecution had the right to put on testimony at the sentencing hearing from "any and all victims" of the actions of the monsignor.
"That's a really large universe," the prosecutor told the judge.
But in their motion, defense lawyers Bergstrom and Jeff Lindy assert that "Pennsylvania law is clear that only direct victims and their immediate families can testify about the impact that the crime at issue has had on their lives."
As far as the defense is concerned, the prosecution should only be allowed to put on the stand the former 10-year-old altar boy sexually abused by Father Edward V. Avery, or a member of that victim's family. Testimony from others who are not direct victims of the crime that Lynn was convicted of "cannot be anything but improper and prejudicial, the two defense lawyers wrote.
A spokesperson for the district attorney's office, Tasha Jamerson, said the district attorney had no response on what his office plans to say in response to the defense motion.