Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Appellate Judges In Msgr. Lynn Case Ask Philly D.A. Some Questions He Can't Answer

Monsignor William J. Lynn
By Ralph Cipriano
for Bigtrial.net

In a sunlight-drenched courtroom this morning, a couple of state appellate judges asked the Philadelphia district attorney's office to explain the pretzel logic of its suspect prosecution of Msgr. William J. Lynn.

After four years of hiding behind a secret grand jury and multiple gag orders, the D.A. finally had to answer some tough questions during oral arguments in broad daylight. Seth Williams wasn't there, but his top appellate lawyer was. He responded with a litany of legal citations. But when the judges attempted to pin him down, the bottom line was, the D.A.'s office had no real answers. It's hard to explain the illogical and the politically expedient.

Msgr. Lynn is now serving a 3 to 6 year prison term for his June 22, 2012 conviction on one count of endangering the welfare of a child. Could the appellate judges be contemplating a ruling that might free the defendant? There was a moment today during the intense 40-minute hearing that quickened the pulse of every defense lawyer in the packed courtroom.

It came when John T. Bender, the president judge of the 15-member appellate court, asked defense lawyer Thomas A. Bergstrom how long his client had been in jail. It was a question that seemingly came out of nowhere. The answer was 15 months. But it left defense lawyers wondering whether the appellate court was sending a signal that it would entertain a new bail motion to be filed on behalf of Msgr. Lynn.

"I don't know what to do; I don't want to be precipitous," a smiling Bergstrom told reporters after the hearing. Bergstrom said he would wait until the court issues a ruling on the Lynn appeal. And if that ruling favors his client, Bergstrom said, he'll be filing that bail motion about "five minutes later."

Today's hearing took place on the 17th floor of 530 Walnut Street, in an ornate courtroom featuring candle chandeliers and sconces, and tall windows overflowing with blinding sunlight.

The questions that the appellate judges asked that the D.A. couldn't answer concerned two subjects. The first was the D.A.'s flip-flop on the state's 1972 endangering the welfare of a child law, known as EWOC. The second was Judge M. Teresa Sarmina's decision to allow prosecutors in the Lynn trial to present 21 supplemental cases of past sex abuse dating back to 1948, three years before Lynn was born, to show a pattern of bad behavior in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

The state's 1972 EWOC law says: "A parent, guardian or other person supervising the welfare of a child under 18 years of age commits a misdemeanor of the second degree if he knowingly endangers the welfare of a child by violating a duty of care, protection or support."

In 2005, then-District Attorney Lynne Abraham and a grand jury concluded that the 1972 EWOC law did not apply to Msgr. Lynn, Cardinal Anthony J. Bevilacqua, or any other high-ranking official of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. The grand jury issued a report that said although it would like to, it could not legally indict Lynn or Bevilacqua for the crime of endangering the welfare of a child.

In 2011, a new district attorney, Seth Williams, and another grand jury looked at the same 1972 EWOC law and concluded that it did apply, not only to Msgr. Lynn, but also to Fathers Edward V. Avery, James J. Brennan and Charles Engelhardt, as well as a lay teacher, Bernard Shero. The grand jury indicted the four priests and the teacher, and charged them with endangering the welfare of a child.

The 1972 state EWOC law refers to "a parent, guardian or other person supervising the welfare of a child." The way the law has traditionally been applied usually involves an adult who has a relationship with a child, such as a parent, guardian or teacher; the law also requires a person who "knowingly endangers the welfare of a child." But in Msgr. Lynn's case, he was prosecuted for endangering the welfare of "a child he never met, he never knew existed at all," Bergstrom told the appellate judges.

Thomas A. Bergstrom (center)
Instead, Bergstrom said, Lynn was charged ex post facto," or after the fact, under the standards of an EWOC law amended in 2007 to include supervisors.

The 1972 EWOC law that makes it a crime to endanger the welfare of a child [EWOC] applies to "a parent, guardian or other person supervising the welfare of a child under 18 years of age."

The amended EWOC law, which took effect in 2007, applies not only to "a parent, guardian or other person supervising the welfare of a child under 18 years of age," but also to "a person that employs or supervises such a person." The law was amended after the 2005 grand jury report to specifically target supervisors such as Lynn.

"Lynn never supervised the child," Bergstrom told the appellate judges. Instead, Lynn supervised  Father Avery, who pleaded guilty to raping a former 10-year-old altar boy identified by the 2011 grand jury report as Billy Doe.

Judge John L. Musmanno asked Bergstrom if Lynn was guilty of "facilitating the crime." In other words, did Lynn "aid or abet" the rape of Billy Doe, the judge wanted to know.

Bergstrom returned to the language of the 1972 EWOC law. It required that the parent, guardian or person supervising the welfare of a child to "knowingly" endanger the welfare of that child, he said.

In Lynn's case, the alleged rape of Billy Doe, which took place during the 1998-99 school year, was not reported to the archdiocese until 2009. To find that Lynn was guilty of EWOC under the old law, you'd have to conclude that Avery "was some kind of virus," Bergstrom said.

Bergstrom argued that whatever bad acts were perpetrated by Avery were "not bad acts of Lynn."

"He had no knowledge of it," Bergstrom said.

Bergstrom then addressed the 21 supplemental cases of prior sex abuse allowed into trial by Judge Sarmina. Bergstrom said by his count, 26 of 32 trial days were taken up with hearing evidence from the supplemental cases. Only six days were spent on the alleged crimes behind the actual charges against Lynn. Bergstrom's position was that Judge Sarmina should have never allowed the 21 supplemental cases into evidence, as it prejudiced the jury, and had little or nothing to do with the alleged rape of Billy Doe by Avery.
Hugh J. Burns Jr.

Next up was Hugh J. Burns Jr. chief of the D.A.'s appeals unit. 

Burns said the 21 supplemental cases of sex abuse were "probative and relevant" to Lynn's "knowledge and intent." Lynn had a history of transferring abusive priests in the archdiocese from parish to parish, without warning parishioners or parents, Burns said. He argued that under the old EWOC law, it was Lynn's responsibility to supervise the welfare of a child.

"That's your position?" asked Judge Bender.

It was.

"He [Lynn] didn't simply put Avery out there, he was systematically putting others out there," Burns said, referring to other abusive priests.

But Judge Bender cut Burns off, and asked the $64,000 question.

"Why did they amend the statute?" he asked.

Burns said there was no evidence that "a change in language means a change in intent." His position was the 1972 law, as well as the 2007 amended law, were both about protecting the welfare of children.

Judge Christine L. Donohue interrupted Burns to ask how many times had the 1972 EWOC law been interpreted to apply to the supervisor of a supervisor of children, as it had in Lynn's case.

This is an issue that Lynn's lawyers have researched. Since 1972, the old EWOC law has been applied in nearly 300 cases. Not once had it been applied to a supervisor of a supervisor of children until Lynn came along.

Were there any other cases besides Lynn's that support your position, Judge Donohue asked Burns? Did any other supervisor like Lynn ever get charged with EWOC under the 1972 state law?

"No," Burns said.

Judge Bender brought up Father Avery's prior behavior. The more he read, he told Burns, "it strikes me" that Avery's behavior was "not so bad."

What Judge Bender appeared to be referring to was that Avery had been accused of fondling boys, not raping them. Judge Bender seemed to be wondering under those circumstances, whether Judge Sarmina's decision to admit the 21 supplemental cases of sex abuse was warranted.

Based on the priest's prior behavior, "it wasn't so clear what Avery would do," Judge Bender said.

Those words had to be a real downer for the folks from the district attorney's office who sat stone-faced in the front row of the courtroom.

Burns did his best to portray Lynn as a bad actor. Indeed, Lynn went "out of his way to see to it that [Avery] had access to children," Burns argued, by allowing Avery to work as a hospital chaplain, but also live at St. Jerome's rectory, where he would be near school children.

According to secret archdiocese reports, Avery was a "time bomb" who could go off at any time, Burns said.

Judge Donohue asked about Avery's prior bad acts. They should have been used to establish "knowledge of what, the judge wanted to know.

"Knowledge of risk," Burns replied. "Knowledge of potential harm to children."

Once again, Judge Bender chimed in. "Avery wasn't so clear," he told Burns. "The more I read, his past was not so bad."

Burns didn't think so. He also wasn't excusing Lynn. "He [Lynn] was ignoring the welfare of children," Burns said.

On his feet, Burns made one factual mistake. He claimed that on Lynn's watch Avery was allowed to exhibit "grooming" behavior by plying youths with alcohol at events where he worked as a disc jockey.

This was blatantly not true. The event that Burns apparently was referring to was a 1978 incident involving a 15-year-old who was helping Avery work as a DJ at Smokey Joe's bar in West Philly. Afterwards, Avery molested the drunken boy who shared his bed that night.

The victim in the incident, a 49-year-old married doctor, testified during the Lynn trial in one of the supplemental sex abuse cases. The incident happened long before Avery showed up up at St. Jerome's.

Burns sat down, and Bergstrom got a two-minute rebuttal.

Msgr. Lynn, he said, was not responsible for protecting all the children in the archdiocese. The prosecution's burden at trial was to prove that Lynn was guilty of knowingly endangering the welfare of a single child, namely Billy Doe. But the prosecutors didn't prove that, Bergstrom said. They couldn't because Lynn didn't even know Billy Doe.

"What have they done?" Bergstrom said of the prosecution. "They were walking away from that position." Instead, they charged that Lynn had a duty to supervise Avery.

Bergstrom then read what the defense has characterized as a "single breathtaking admission" from the district attorney. It was made in a 63-page brief filed June 25 in Superior Court. In the brief, the D.A. stated that Lynn had "endangered the welfare of" Billy Doe by "breaching his duty to prevent priests under his supervision, such as [Father Edward V.] Avery, from sexually molesting children. The evidence is sufficient because [Lynn] was Avery's supervisor, with a specific duty to prevent Avery from doing exactly what [Lynn] instead facilitated."

This is the exact language of the amended EWOC law of 2007, Bergstrom declared. It can not be applied after the fact to Lynn.

Bergstrom sat down. Judge Bender told the lawyers on both sides that the case was "very well argued." Judge Donohue added that the case was "very well briefed."

Grim-faced staffers from the D.A.'s office left without saying anything to reporters, as is their usual custom. If the appellate court rules against them, it's a case of pick your poison.

If the appellate court rules that Lynn shouldn't have been charged under the 1972 EWOC law, the legal remedy would be a reversal of the conviction. If the appellate court rules that Judge Sarmina shouldn't have allowed into evidence the 21 supplemental sex abuse cases, the remedy would be a new trial.

After the hearing, Bergstrom told reporters about how well his client was holding up behind bars.

"He's lost 70 pounds," Bergstrom said. "He feels good. He's doing a lot of reading in the prison library."

The defense lawyer left the courthouse a happy man after what seemed to be a cathartic experience. "I feel like I finally got somebody to listen," Bergstrom said.


  1. This was a cleverly orchestrated prosecution of these individuals involving a totally false set of accusations by Danny Gallagher. The basis for this prosecution was quite simply, an intent to put a highranking church official behind bars and it has succeeded thus far. Innocent men sit behind bars as a direct result of this malicious prosecution. May the potential of possible remedies by this higher court overcome the inherent bias against the clergy in this archdiocese that prevented fair and unbiased trials for Monsignor Lynn as well as Father Charles Engelhardt and Bernard Shero. Thus far, the con artist and drug dealer, Danny Gallagher has had the upper hand but hopefully this hearing will prove to be the first step in freeing these innocent men.

    1. Amen and spread the word about where to get coverage of the truth.

  2. This coverage of this very important appeal is impeccable. I am sure there are many concerned who are grateful to you for your keen reporting. Thank you. I was going to go but thought it would be quick and I might time it incorrectly. Sounds like Msgr. Lynn finally will get justice.

  3. "I feel like I finally got somebody to listen."
    And when they do listen to the truth, this whole sordid affair begins to unravel.
    Gallagher, Sarmina, Seth Williams, Mariana Sorensen, and co. need to be feeling very uncomfortable about now.
    Excellent reporting.

    1. Don't forget officer James Gallagher Sr., Sheila Gallagher and James Gallagher Jr.

  4. Such hopeful news. One can only hope that Msgr. will soon be freed and that the charges against Fr. Englehardt and Sherro will be vacated leading to their release from prison.

    1. It's like watching a house of cards fall. The shame is it took four years.

    2. Ralph,

      You are missing the forest for the trees. Legal nicities cannot obscure the fact that Lynn is clearly guilty of endangering children at the behest of his religious superiors. Lynn got off easy. Letting him out of jail will serve justice for whom?

      Tim Stier

    3. Tim, you're missing the point. If the authorities have to pervert the law and concoct a phony plea bargain and put on a couple of show trials just to get "justice," then we might as well just go out and start shooting people that we think deserve it.

  5. This is so elementary - choose the right statute to prosecute under and you will get the conviction you so desire. DA chose to have the child endangerment law rewritten in 2007 to include supervisors of people handling children without realizing the grave ramifications of such. A school principal totally unaware of child abuse perpetrated by a teacher can be prosecuted and have his life totally ruined along with being sent to jail. Even worse is the DA's choosing to use the 2007 rewrite of the child endangerment law to prosecute Lynn while knowing full well the law did not apply to Lynn as he left his position in 2004.

    What grade school did the DA get his law degree from? Serious questions are being raised about Judges Sarmina and Ceisler and their fitness to serve on the bench.

    Hopefully, this appeal will lead to bail granted to three priests and a teacher put in jail by Billy Doe pending final resolution of issues raised by their attorneys.

  6. Don't forget Ceisler's role in this travesty, after throwing out the conspiracy charges that were never proved at trial, charges that bloodbank CEO Hughes put into place by herself at the request of the DA, she went along with DA Williams plan by sentencing Fr Engelhardt to a lengthy sentence for a crime he didn't commit. Oh, and she described the archdiocese social worker's interview of the assaults as given by this accuser on January 29, 2009 as an "AMBUSH" at that sentencing hearing. The only ambush was the ambush of the freedom of these innocent men due to the inherent hatred of the archdiocese in this city. I'm sure we can locate Cippoletti, Sorensen and the rest of them when someone gains enough courage to investigate this malicious prosecution.

  7. "I feel like I finally got somebody to listen," Bergstrom said.Respectfully Mr. Berstrom, who is listening to the Victims ?

    1. Perhaps you haven't been paying attention. The "victim" in this case is a fraud.

    2. Your insults are satisfying to me as they indicate that you have no compassion for the Victims only for the enablers and abusers. If you have read both Phila Grand Jury reports it will confirm that there are one hundred clergy who have creditable allegations, this does not include religious order members , so there are at least one hundred Victims, again who is listening to the Victims, chaput, the pew warmers , the catholic conference of bishops or the politicians ?
      If lynn does win on appeal it only confirms the law did not apply NOT that he enabled the abusers, lynn authored the list that bEVILaqua ordered shredded.

    3. The only victims in the DA's circus act are the innocent men incarcerated right now

    4. Its the CRIMINAL justice system, NOT the Victim Justice System. Victims can never receive justice in this life because the bell cannot be unrung. But seeking retribution is not justice.

  8. Hey, Anonymous, it is glaringly apparent that you are a church puppet. Who do you work for and how much are you paid. You clearly DO NOT have the victims/survivors and their families healing, in mind. SHAME, SHAME, SHAME!!! Perhaps you can be promoted into a Bishop!!!

    1. What victims/survivors are you talking about? If this is a member of DGs family then you did not see how the others apperared in court and the shame and embarrassment of being recognized that was on thier faces. Apparently you do not have or understand all the facts from the case

    2. Putting innocent people in jail to make up for a church abuse case does not cut the mustard. Having accurate information and using the right legal statute by doing the necessary legwork will pay dividends over the long run than to have a kangaroo court with four innocent people put in jail aonly to see your case collapse like a deck of cards in appellate court.

    3. Look its the former ADA Mark Cipoletti's favorite group - SNAP.

    4. Annette has her blinders on. Did you even read the post? This is not about any victim other than Msgr. Lynn, who was the victim of a bad prosecution. This conviction will be vacated, and Msgr. Lynn will be back at work within a year. He deserves no less.

      Anonymous 7:16, is is not the appellate court's job to listen to the victims. Those judges are deciding matters of law. You should be upset at the DA's office and Judge Sarmina, who left themselves open to a reversal through their actions.

      Yes, victims deserve justice. But not at the expense of innocent people.

    5. Annette, I believe everyone has legitimate victims and their families on their mind. However, in this case their was NO VICTIM, only fabricated lies by the accuser and the ADA's. This trial was a Witch-hunt from start to finish. Innocent men confined to a jail cell while a 25 yr old drug addict with 23 arrests is free to walk the streets. What a disservice the City of Philadelphia has done by expunging his many arrests. What will happen next, another tragedy like we witnessed in Connecticut and Washington DC. or perhaps driving under the influence of drugs, he'll kill an innocent family on vacation in Florida where he is living the high life

    6. Annette,

      The victim in this case, one Billy Doe, is not a victim. He was never assaulted and used his 4 different stories to get him out of jail and additional legal trouble. The DA ran with it to make a historic prosecution because he has aspirations of becoming mayor and governor. Welcome to BigTrial.net. Do yourself a favor and read all of the previous articles on these priest abuse trials in Philadelphia and maybe you'll find the real truth and the innocence of these men and their families. How about their healing? It is better to be politically connected and be the son of cop in this city than to be innocent.

    7. Annette, you have no idea what went on in this "historic prosecution", not a clue. There are victims of abuse in our society that all of us should feel sympathy for but Billy Doe/Danny Gallagher is not one of them. Drug Addicts, by nature, are cunning people, they steal from their friends and families, deal drugs and oftentimes, they will resort to assaulting people in their determined efforts to get that next bag of drugs. They steal, they lie, and and in this case, the entire scenario is a series of bizarre stories told by this well connected individual that have resulted in the imprisonment, this far, of 3 innocent men.

  9. Ralph, thank you very much for the detailed coverage. Enjoy reading the back & forth with the judges. Have read other coverages that would make one think it was a different trial

    Hopefully Msgr Lynn will be released soon - 15 months too late

    How can this case help Fr Engelhardt and Mr Shero?

  10. SNAP alert!! Annette Kissell Nestler is "Facilitator" (!) at the Southern New Jersey Chapter of SNAP (she lives in Bridgeton, New Jersey). From her name and syntax I would guess she is of German origin. Not sure if there are any Nazi connections in the family tree, but she must feel right at home in the dysfunctional, and long since discredited SNAP cabal, who have physically threatened genuine victims who do not obey their dictates and instructions.

    "I no longer believe the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests (SNAP) is in any way primarily an advocacy organization for sexual abuse victims. Instead, I think it is more a noisy little group that hates the Roman Catholic Church and has discovered a way of making a living off the victimization others have suffered. My poor opinion of SNAP was formed some time ago,"
    Russell E. Saltzman (Lutheran Pastor), Oct 13, 2011.

    1. Now it makes sense, Justone1618-I thought to myself before I posted a response to her below that Kestler sounded like an ignorant SNAP person. The comments were very similar to Judy SNAP Jones who appears to have disappeared from the radar. I always felt that she (Jones)was asking for a libel suit the way she used to blatantly accuse priests by name, begging "victims" to come forward and accuse this or that one, slandering men who were cleared of the false accusations made against them. Talk about witches...

  11. Imagine a world where a Judge states the "fondiling a boy" by a drunken priest is "not so bad".

  12. Thanks for suggesting the additional names of those either responsible or complicit in this travesty of justice.
    Here is the latest list:

    Judges: Sarmina and Ceisler
    DA office: Mark Cippoletti, Seth Williams, Mariana Sorensen
    False accusers: Daniel P Gallagher and family:officer James Gallagher Sr., Sheila Gallagher and James Gallagher Jr.

    Images: Daniel P Gallagher:

    Feel free to provide more personal details of the above listed and to add names if appropriate. The innocent victims had their photos and personal details spread far and wide because of the lies of a loser. Let the same justice be done to those who promoted, abetted and committed this shameful witch hunt. Let the tables be turned. Only by doing this will we help prevent this type of travesty from occurring again, as the perpetrators will be exposed and forced to pay for their evil deeds.

    1. Add Judge Renée Cardwell Hughes to the list.

      From Red CrossSite:
      Prior to becoming the CEO of the American Red Cross of Southeastern PA on May 16, 2011, the Honorable Renée Cardwell Hughes served as a trial judge in the Court of Common Pleas, the First Judicial District of Pennsylvania which encompasses the City of Philadelphia. Judge Hughes served in the Trial Division of the court, since her appointment to the bench in 1995 by Governor Tom Ridge. She was elected to a full ten year term beginning January, 1996 and was re-elected in 2005 to a second full term. She specialized in homicides, but has handled both civil and criminal proceedings.

      Judge Hughes received her legal degree from Georgetown University Law Center and her undergraduate degree from the University of Virginia.

    2. Daniel Gallagher - http://instagram.com/xlost420


    3. Judge Hughes abruptly resigned from the bench shortly after it was revealed she was under investigation by the State review board for possibly "altering a transcript" on a trial from her recent past. Unfortunately, her departure from the bench before the review board concluded their investigation on that matter saved her from possible censure. If you were in the courtroom during the initial round of hearings on this case (she denied these defendants the preliminary hearing they were deserving of), then you know firsthand she was clearly "unfit" to be an impartial judge on this case, same as Sarmina and Ceisler. The coverage by the local rags didn't give justice to the harsh manner in which she treated those defense attorney's and defendants, it set the stage for everything that followed.

  13. "Hey" Ms. Nestler,

    You "clearly" have not followed the Philly trials. The lone accuser is a liar (that is putting it mildly-even the prosecutors know that). You might comprehend better if you read the past coverage on bigtrial.net.

    If that does not suit you, you might enjoy the "change the church, hate the church" sites or victims sites where you can donate, run a race, buy a t-shirt, etc. They "clearly" have contributors who follow print media madness (actually not much to report now so it's a little non-existent)and have no appreciation for exemplary church policies with regard to the protection of children. Why not check it out and compare to other organizations-you will find that the Church has more than any other entity. And/or I would find an outlet for your cry of "shame,shame,shame"(caps are rude) perhaps under the current coverage (however incomplete and irresponsible) of rampant child abuse in public school, in the general population, etc.

    P.S. Church personnel do not comment on these things so don't pull that nonsense and expect to get a rise out of anyone. How immature can you be?

  14. SOS, different day. SNAP is a counter intelligence effort created and funded by the church. Ask many victims (I'm one of them) that have had the "pleasure" of attempting to work "with" SNAP. No one is allowed to work with SNAP. Only for SNAP.

  15. How about Screw the church, Josie? Let us victims return the "blessings" bestowed. Screw the church!

  16. Unsurprisingly, but of great relevance to this thread, one of Annette Nestler's favorite books is the deceitful and unprofessional "Mortal Sins: Sex, Crime, and the Era of Catholic Scandal" by Michael D'Antonio. This book is nothing but an anti-Catholic screed written by an "angry zealot" as one reviewer calls him. It is terribly written, poorly edited and full of mistakes. It seems to have been compiled with indecent haste - presumably because the wheels were starting to come off the Catholic Church Witch Hunt Wagon, and somebody, somewhere needed to pitch in with some more ancient and unsubstantiated accusations (the New York Times and Star Ledger were beginning to look a bit embarrassing in their ham-fisted attempts to Keep The Ball Rolling). The one- and two-star customer reviews reveal the truth of the motivations behind the book. These clearly irked the anti-Catholic bigots, as, miraculously, there was a barrage of five-star "reviews" within 48 hours (in response to the e-mails from the SNAP fanatics). Pathetic.
    Here's the link:

    Meanwhile, back in the real world, I hope that some day soon Ralph will be able to write a more honest, professional and accurate book about the real abuse story - abuse of authority, abuse of innocent men, abuse of the truth.

  17. I can see all the same players have teamed up once again !

    Their motto being save the priests the hell with the kids.

    Now since I don't plan on getting involved in this party as before I will give you my thoughts.

    You have a priest who could have been the hero, instead by his own statements he says "I dropped the ball" and "I guess my best was not good enough" a person who himself knows he did not do right for children, and now there is a possibility he will get out of prison, not because he is innocent but because of a loop-hole in the law.

    That is o.k. with me because I do believe in our justice system, if I like it or not.

    The one thing that I would like to tell other survivors is, this man has been in prison for 15 months and counting, that breaks down to approx. 450 days add or take those months with 31 days or February that has only 28 days. That then breaks down to 10,800 hours. A lot of time for someone to think.

    Now I don't want any survivor to look at it as we still got our pound of flesh, but to look at it as maybe just maybe if Lynn is released from prison he took that time to think about people like you and me, and maybe just maybe he will take those thoughts back to whomever he needs to share them with.

    I believe if released or not Lynn has learned something out of all of this. In a way he is going through something that every victim/survivor has gone through. He had a time of his life removed and he will never get it back and I will bet my life that his experiences inside prison will never be forgotten.

    If all those things are just wishful thinking then we can look back and say prison did him a little bit of good. He lost 70lbs and that has to be good for his heart if he has one.

    Everybody be nice and don't kill each other with insults.

    1. And same old Dennis. everyone should pity Dennis and trust his word - he deserves it. he is not a pencil pusher as he puts it live the rest of society. he has done something good with his life as if providing a service so all of Philadelphia could feel safe. oh wait, he was a paramedic. One thing that still hangs out there is it has never been verified by anyone on the story of his alleged abuse.

    2. Paramedic? This screwball is telling others that he was a firefighter.

      There is a difference, wonder what's true from the perpetual clergy abuse victim?

      Careful, priest-haters, what goes around, comes around.

    3. Wrong, Dennis. Once released, Lynn will be welcomed back as a hero. He will not admit to any wrongdoing as his good name will be restored to him once charges vacated. As a trained priest, he will forgive all those who put him in jail in much the same way Christians forgave Romans for throwing them to the lions.

      And, Dennis, you have forgotten the fact that Chaput has expelled more than half of the 30 something suspended priests and there are still a few unfinished cases awaiting to be disposed of. Chaput knew full well that the Statute of Limitations expired in all of those cases, yet he ruled as if the alleged incidents happened yesterday.

      Children are much safer now than decades past. Child abuse is not only confined to the Catholic Church but in private and public schools and in other religions. The more we do to make children feel safe, the less chance of abuse will happen.

    4. Dennis, does this statement made by yourself ring any bells?

      "Oh, and I stereotype all priests as abusers until proven otherwise. You know rather be safe then sorry."

      I do not care what has happened to you in the past. There is no place for that mindset in this country, and I will regard every word out of your mouth as suspect until you recant that awful statement and show a willingness to seek out the truth in any abuse matter.

  18. Waiting to hear the un bias side of what wet on in the appellate court.

  19. I am excited and very happy that Monsignor Lynn might be released soon! I have never stopped praying for him. I am so grateful for Ralph Cipriano's reporting. This is a happy and hopeful day, indeed.

  20. Anonymous at 5:52...no need to wait for an unbiased report of what ocurred in the appelate court as Ralph's report fits the bill.

    1. I would suggest you go buy an Inquirer, and get your daily dose of manicured news.

  21. Bottom line - does anyone think that what Lynn did (ie transfer abusive priests to parishes knowing that these priests had a long history of abuse. In fact the reason they are being transferred is because they were caught abusing children. BTW None of that is in dispute) was a good thing. From the posts I see here it almost seems as if you all believe that Lynn did nothing wrong. I mean morally wrong not legally wrong. Is that what you all believe? If that is true, then the Holy Roman Catholic Church is indeed a cult.

  22. Wow, are you a moron. Lynn did what Bevilacqua told him to do; he was a pawn. Two DAs let Bevilacqua skate. They then strung this guy up, and a few more, for a CRIME THAT NEVER HAPPENED. Nobody touched Billy Doe; the junkie-loser-criminal made the whole story up. Wake up you moron!

  23. Yes, wake up, moron! Put your bigotry to one side and analyze the FACTS of the case(s) covered in this blog.
    Ralph has made it easy for you by presenting those facts objectively. No spin, no distortion, no misrepresentation - unlike the NYT, CNN, the Star Fudger, etc.
    Then make your decision: acknowledge the truth, or stick with your cult of anti-Catholic bigots.

  24. http://ireporterstv.co/church-members-mistreat-homeless-man-in-church-unaware-it-is-their-pastor-in-disguise/ Here is a fact

  25. http://minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2013/09/clergy-abuse/

    For those on this blog who feel that the DA and prosecution are bending the rules, acting unfairly, and taking advantage of their position, I strongly urge all to read the story at the above link to see how the "other side" can act similarly and use whatever methods necessary to protect their own (and subsequently leave our children at grave risk)

    1. so let me get your reasoning, without reading that article but assuming it addresses wrongful and deceitful actions of a defense attorney in Minnesota, it's ok for this city's DA in Philadelphia, to take a "historic" case to court indicting innocent men, use any method possible to twist the truth so that no one walks out of those courtrooms a free man. Rumor has it one of the recently departed DA's on this case was boasting at his farewell party about the real reason those books on abuse (that were stolen from a classmate) under Danny Gallagher's bed were used for crushing his drugs, probably Oxycontin, that is certainly not what he presented in court, that's for sure. And that's the kind of DA you want working to convict innocent men to further their own careers. The whole accusation was a fraud by a con artist, a thief, a drug addict and drug dealer........ Hey, what's the harm, innocent men who caused no harm to anyone during their lifetime imprisoned for lengthy sentences for crimes that were never committed.

    2. so let me get your reasoning, without reading that article but assuming it addresses wrongful and deceitful actions of a defense attorney in Minnesota,

      And, why would anyone take your comments seriously with that introduction?

  26. As a devil's advocate, there could have been a side deal between the DA and Chaput to allow the prosecution of Lynn and two other priests and a teacher using the newly revised EWOC rule while knowing full well a risk exists in the cases being dropped upon appeal. Thing is that the Archdiocese escapes the full wrath of a state law passed by the legislation to give victims a two year SOL exception to file claims. that newly revised SOL law would have ensured the Archdiocese would have filed for bankruptcy.

    Charade took place. Lynn convicted and served time. Appellate court throws out the conviction and Lynn is freed along with two other priests and a teacher. Victims will be sated that "justice" took place.

    1. James, you could be right, Chaput has been silent since this whole scenario began 4+ years ago, other than footing the bill for Lynn's defense, the archdiocese has hunkered down to avoid any further scrutiny.. Funny how on the eve of the retrial of Brennan in late October, there's another timely arrest of a 75 year old archdiocesan priest for an alleged assault, even while the EWOC based appeal asking for the reversal of the conviction of Lynn is being debated by the higher court .....

  27. I cannot wait for the attack on Seth Wiliams by most of you after he has his press conference about another accused priest today. Stay tuned...

  28. http://www.philly.com/philly/news/Philadelphia_priest_arrested.html

  29. Very interesting press conference today, don't you think? Oh , never mind, you people think that Seth Williams is in cohoots with someone and I am sure that you all did not appreciate him pointing out the mistakes that Msgr. Lynn has made when he could have helped innocent children instead...


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