Thursday, July 12, 2012

Archbishop Chaput Visits Monsignor Lynn In Jail

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.


  1. Unbelievable!

    Why is the Archdiocese still supporting this man?

    Why is he still listed as the pastor at St. Joe’s?

    And more importantly, why are there parishioners (WITH CHILDREN) who are writing letters of support and want him to return to St. Joe’s?

    This is an email I received last week:

    Hi Everyone,

    After today's decision, Monsignor Lynn's lawyers have suggested that letters be sent to Judge Sarmina to show support for Monsignor and describe his character. We would like to get as many letters to the judge as soon as possible...PLEASE pass this information on to whoever supports him and hopefully it will be passed on to everyone who would be able to write. ...The sentencing day has been moved to July 24th and hopefully she will get a large volume of letters by this weekend and early next week...prior to sentencing. Below, are specifics in addressing the letter and Father Kean has also listed some points to remember when composing your letter.
    Please let me know if you have any questions!

    Keep Praying!

    The Honorable M. Teresa Sarmina
    c/o Tom Bergstrom
    Buchanan, Ingersoll & Rooney
    50 S. 16th Street
    Suite 3200
    Philadelphia, PA 19102

    Inside letter should be addressed:
    Your Honor, Judge Sarmina

    Some points which may be helpful to include in your letter:
    •Your state in life, profession, involvement in the community and # of children.
    •How long and in what capacity you have known Monsignor.
    •A statement of your knowledge of his reputation in the community (parish), the use of descriptors, adjectives and personal accounts.
    •Any other words of support.
    •Be sure to write in a respectful tone, not to inflame the judge.

    Let's hope she sees through all of this!

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. Yes what this man did was wrong, however are we not all sinners who have fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23)? Mr. Chaput is only doing what is right, DO NOT GET ME WRONG WHAT MR. LYNN WAS WRONG, AND HE NEEDS TO REPENT, AND ACCEPT CHRIST AS HIS LORD AND SAVIOR, OR HE WILL END UP IN HELL (WE ALL NEED TO DO THIS A SPRINKLING AT BIRTH AMOUNTS TO NOTHING), Christ taught His disciples, us the saints, to love the sinner, look at what he did with the woman caught in adultery, He saves her from stoning, or what about when our LORD was on the cross, the murderer beside him who asked forgiveness and said "Yeshua remember me...", our Lord's response, "You'll be in paradise today". However I strongly advocate that the churchmen need to repent for the disgusting ways they acted in the past in moving priests to other perishes, or dioceses, instead of firing them, holding them accountable, getting the proper legal authorities involved, and got repartition for the families in order (which might include monetary, as well as psychological means). My hopes with Mr. Chaput is that while he visits Mr. Lynn, he will stress the importance of making things right, that repentance, and that he would get counselling, and that upon his release he would have no contact with children, unless supervised.
      Mr. Chaput also needs to go to the families of the victims, and do as I suggested above.

  2. "Your state in life" says it all.

    Let's get Lynn a break because "important" and not so important people want their daddy back.

    "Be sure to write in a tone not to inflame the judge"

    And not one of these fucks have talked to a victim. Or even seen one.

  3. Judge not, lest you be judged. These people love their Pastor and want to stand up for him. Write your letters, People! Unfortunately, it won't make a bit of difference to Judge Sarmina, she's already made up her mind.

    1. Thank you Archie.

      For not judging my judgement. How about an eye for an eye?

      What's the story Arch? You don't like judges? Then judge them not.

    2. Huh? I don't understand the question...please state it in a more succint manner, and I will be happy to answer it!

    3. You are hostile it seems to Judge Sarmina. "She's already made up her mind" Implying what?
      I think you'll find out at the sentencing she'll probably give Lynn a lighter sentence than you expect.
      I don't think that will be a good thing.

    4. Point taken, Jim. You're right, I did judge her. Nullifies what I professed earlier in my post.

      Thank you for bringing that to my attention!

      Well, we'll see what sentencing brings. Sentences are more than jail terms, however. The loss of your reputation and the ability to practice your profession ever again? A pretty heavy sentence, indeed. And it carries more than a life time term. Think about that.

      I sure hope Judge Sarmina does!

  4. And, we all know, from reading this blog, it doesn't take much to "inflame the judge." Inflammatory should be her middle name!

  5. I was glad to hear that Archbishop Chaput visited Monsignor Lynn. It's about time. My heart broke when I read the quotes when Sarmina was concerned that Lynn would find asylum at the Vatican, and he said, "The Vatican? The Archdiocese of Philadelphia won't even talk to me!"

    It seems he was shunned by his peers and the hierarchy (regardless of the over-reported standing ovation at a meeting with his peers earlier this year.) He was cut off from everyone, except for his close family and his lawyers: he was a Pariah.

    I think he has been serving his sentence ever since his reputation was irreversably damaged.

    He is not a criminal. He admitted that one case (Avery) slipped through the cracks when he was busy attending to his dying mother. That was enough for me. A Mother's suffering and dying has a profound impact on her survivors...and all sorts of things slip through the cracks. I don't believe it was willful or intentional.

    I am not minimizing the severity of the crimes committed by Avery, or the damage done to the victims. There is nothing more hideous than to abuse them physically, sexually, emotionally and rob them of their future sexuality.

    Please show Monsignor Lynn some Mercy. That's what your fellow Parishioner was trying to do in sending the email.

    Have Mercy on us all!

    1. Especially have Mercy on Thomasina Monahan and Jim Robertson!!!!

  6. Wow. That email to parishioners reveals so much about why victims never see real justice in this international crime epidemic. Thank you, Thomasina, for posting it.

    Total tunnel vision, like horses with blinders, they just keep plodding on, and nothing really changes...

  7. Nothing ever changes?! You have got to be kidding me. Everything changes. I work in the school. Nothing is the same. If you were still there, Kay, you'd realize that EVERYTHING is different.

  8. He is a criminal Archie. He's even got his own inmate number. He'll be sentenced. He is fortunate that the jury had difficulty or he would be facing a longer sentence for the conspiracy that any objective observer knows the church has been engaged in for many years.

    The folks who are upset about this one man being incarcerated should consider the fact that he should be joined by many others.

    To the apologists I would ask, what about the victims?

    1. Yay Jack.

      I Know nothing of prison.

      I just am not here to gloat over a man going to jail. any man including this man.

      It's just fucking sad for anybody with a brain. All of it so sad.

      But the victims' sadness lasts the longest and is the hardest to hold. All the kids that never should have been exposed to what would truely harm them. And Lynn was there and could have stopped it but didn't.

    2. Cardinal Bevilacqua could have stopped it but didn't and all of those in between Msgr. Lynn and the Cardinal could have stopped it but didn't. Msgr. Lynn tried his best and the sad thing is those that did the deed are either walking around or will be out of prison before Msgr. Lynn. Whatever happened to forgiveness but it sounds like you are too far gone to even think about it. I pray for you and I am not downplaying what happened. I just think they needed a scapegoat and poor Msgr. Lynn just happens to be that scapegoat.

    3. Msgr. Lynn was convicted of a crime which is different from being a scapegoat.

    4. Exactly my point, Molly. He was convicted of a crime because no one had the balls to go after Cardinal Bevilacqua when he was alive; so, therefore, Monsignor Lynn became the scapegoat for all the sins of the Church.

    5. Oh, Molly Molly Molly, I'm sure your motives are pure but you are sooooo naive.

      I too think Lynn was a scapegoat, meaning his conviction will likely keep any of his higher ups, who are much more guilty, from ever being prosecuted.

    6. E7778,

      If you wish to whisper to your deity magic mumblings that make you feel like a better person. Have at it.

      My being " too far gone" pales to you and your imaginary friend.

  9. Actually Bill Lynn had a choice, he could have been a grown up and said ,"No." He is a "scapegoat" to the extent that he buys
    into the "obey at all costs" culture that has been presented in the evidence. But if he bought into that culture, that's another choice and he is facing the consequence of making that choice. I have no doubt that there are guilty parties higher up the foodchain from Bill Lynn but he is also guilty. I regard him as a place to start. This is not over.

  10. I have followed the Trial of msgrLynn closely .I have very disappointedc in all that has been Wittenberg about the Mgsr and also the trial Etc The Wiritten Word and the Press can be very disstuctive and that's what has occurred in this situation.Let's be clear the Mgsr is not a criminal in any shape or form.This situation has more to do with the CATHOLIC Church and The SexScandal which hit the Church a fewvyears ago We all know that the Church Protected the Institution Not the Viictims The Chidren who were Sexually Abused.The higherHierachy of the Church are responsible for this.Sad to say this includes Our Beloved Pope .He too contributed to this Scandal and cover up.So we know there is enough Blame to go around.In regards to the Good Msgr he was ta middle man in this He had a Big Title with no power .It's my belief he did what he could do but it wasn't a enough.Did he make some mistakes sure he did but Priest or not we are all human.Does he deserve Jail time definitely not in my view.Let's be clear his Record as a priest is outstanding He was in the wrong place at wrong time .Iam pleating with you all let's admit he wax scapcoated by thev situatio.Let's move forward and let the Good. Msgr return to his Pastoral Duties We also need to understand that punishing the Mgsr serves No Good Purpose .In addition it appears to me that there is a Anti -Catholic sentiment in this situation.We all know that the Church has made a lot of mistakes in regard to the Sex Abuse Scandal.However many changes and support have been put in place.So let's be postivevas we hopefully move forward Jlb8203

  11. Always the "move forward" bull.

    Who ever wants the rape of children to be, if not forgiven, forgotten, manages to come up with the"move forward" mallarky.

    Jlb pretends that it's 'anti-Catholic sentiment" that is fueling the trials against the enablers of child rape.


    This is not about RELIGION.

    This is about systemic child abuse enabled by corporate superiors of the rapists.

    Catholics your faith is not challenged here. Your subservience to
    bosses, who enabled more children to be damaged, is.


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