Just when we thought we heard it all, yet another major local church–the archdiocese of Philadelphia–is now another legal battleground in the continuing clergy sex abuse crisis. This time, however, a chancery official is accused not of abusing minors but of abetting abusers. Monsignor William J. Lynn headed the office for clergy in the archdiocese from 1992 to 2004, during which time some of the alleged incidents of abuse took place. Lynn was placed on administrative leave along with 20 other priests associated with a damning grand jury report about sex abuse in the archdioces.
According to The New York Times, this would be the first time that a supervisory official faced criminal charges; Lynn could get up to 14 years in prison if found guilty. It would also bring criminal responsibility a step closer to the bishop's office, where many think the buck stops. What lies ahead could be interesting indeed, but deeply troubling as well.