Billy Doe, the truth-challenged former altar boy who's seeking to cash in on his improbable tale of serial sex abuse, was originally scheduled to go to trial against the Archdiocese of Philadelphia on Aug. 3rd.
The Pope is scheduled to be in Philadelphia a month later, from Sept. 25-27, for the World Meeting of Families.
What were the chances of the Pope and Billy, however briefly, sharing a media spotlight?
Apparently none. As of July 10, on the court docket there's a new trial date posted for Billy Doe v. the Archdiocese of Philadelphia et al -- Nov. 9th.
Meanwhile, when Pope Francis visits Philadelphia, he's scheduled to visit the Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility on State Road in Northeast Philly. But one of the inmates the Pope won't be meeting with is Msgr. William J. Lynn.
According to Lynn's lawyer, Thomas A. Bergstrom, the monsignor, the first Catholic administrator in the country to go to jail for failing to reign in predator priests, was moved last week from Curran-Fromhold. Lynn is now at SCI Waymart, a state prison located two and a half hours north of the city. Bergstrom said he doubts "the Pope will go to Waymart."
It's kind of amazing how two potential embarrassments for the archdiocese during the Pope's upcoming visit have just disappeared.
"I'd say that any suggestion that the archdiocese is controlling the movements of Msgr. Lynn is a ridiculous one," Gavin said.
Regarding Billy Doe's new trial date in November, Gavin said it was set at a July 7th conference with the presiding judge "based upon the availability of the lawyers, witnesses and the assigned judge."
When asked whether the archdiocese plans to settle the case, Gavin replied that he can't discuss pending litigation.
There's a voluntary confidentiality stipulation in the Billy Doe civil case agreed to by all the parties that prevents the lawyers from talking.
Billy Doe is the former altar boy who claims he was raped by two priests and a Catholic school teacher. His tales of abuse at two historic trials sent three alleged assailants to jail, as well as Msgr. Lynn for not adequately protecting Billy.
Lynn, the former secretary for clergy for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, was convicted three years ago by a jury on one count of endangering the welfare of a child.
On July 24, 2012, Common Pleas Court Judge M. Teresa Sarmina sentenced Lynn to three to six years in jail. Lynn had served 18 months of his sentence when on Dec. 26, 2013 a panel of three state Superior Court judges reversed the monsignor's conviction and ordered him "released forthwith." But Judge Sarmina instead imposed conditions on the defendant that amounted to house arrest, such as wearing an electronic ankle bracelet and reporting to a parole officer every week.
Lynn had spent 16 months under house arrest until April 27th, when the state Supreme Court reversed the reversal by the Superior Court. Three days later, Judge Sarmina granted a motion by the D.A.'s office to revoke bail and send Lynn back to jail to serve out the remainder of his sentence.
He's been in prison ever since.
While the monsignor's doing his time, his lawyers are seeking a hearing in state Superior Court before the same panel of judges that reversed Lynn's conviction. At the hearing, Bergstrom will argue for a new trial. The district attorney's office has until Aug. 5th to respond to Lynn's motion.