Catholic Official Sentenced to Prison for Covering Up Child Abuse by Church Leaders

Monsignor William J. Lynn — a Catholic official who covered up sexual abuse in the Church, “shielded predatory priests, sometimes transferring them to unwary new parishes.” and lied to the public about it — was sentenced to 3-6 years in prison today. It’s not enough to make up for the damage he’s caused — hell, Penn State arguably got a harsher sentence — but it could be a warning sign to any other Catholic priests who think they can get away with hiding the Church’s crimes.

… prosecutors urged the judge to impose the maximum penalty. They told the court last week that the gravity of Monsignor Lynn’s crime — giving known sexual predators continued access to children, causing lifelong anguish and damages to some — was “off the charts.” They wrote that Monsignor Lynn had refused to accept responsibility and had an “apparent lack of remorse for anyone but himself.”

“I think this is going to send a very strong signal to every bishop and everybody who worked for a bishop that if they don’t do the right thing they may go to jail,” said Rev. Thomas J. Reese, a senior fellow of the Woodstock Theological Center at Georgetown University and a Jesuit priest. “They can’t just say the bishop made me do it, that’s not going to be an excuse that holds up in court.”

This makes Lynn the first Catholic official in America to go to prison for covering up the Church’s crimes but not committing abuse himself.

Let’s hope other Catholic monsters join him in prison soon.

(via Joe. My. God.)

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • http://dogmabytes.com/ C Peterson

    Yeah, but in the end, he’s just a fall guy for His Assholiness, who is the one that really belongs in prison. But it’s a start.

  • Ronlawhouston

    Can prison ever really make up for the damage he’s caused?  If so, then how much?   Considering that the max the law allowed was 3.5 to 7 and he got 3 to 6, I’d say he got a pretty stiff sentence under the law.  

    I’m not saying he didn’t deserve prison just that I’m not certain that he necessarily should have gotten more.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Łukasz-Jezierski/791365757 Łukasz Jezierski

       Three years in prison, with cellmates knowing he’s guilty of covering up child abuse? Might be enough.

    • http://flyingdingo.com/ Rick Roberts

      No, it can’t make up, but it’s the remedy we have in a civilized society. He and his kind must be shunned. 

      Now, let’s move on the those at Penn State who protected the wrong people and get them into jumpsuits.

    • Sindigo

      I’m not sure that prison ever makes up for any crime and rehabilitation in this case would be difficult as one would hope he’d never get into a position where he’d be able re-offend anyway. Prison in this case is simply punishment but it sends a message and maybe someone, somewhere who is committing this crime right now will here it and know that we, as a society are not okay with it.

  • wizzenedone

    Its about time!!

  • gski

    But he’s a jesus loving man of god, so he must be good.

    • Sweezerl

      There are always wolves in sheeps clothing!!!

  • Joe Zamecki

    There’s more to do, but this is a big step in the right direction. A reason to celebrate just a bit. Progress.

  • http://flyingdingo.com/ Rick Roberts

    Just a start …

  • http://www.everydayintheparkwithgeorge.com/ Matt E

    I can’t wait to see what sort of deranged, pathetic claims of injustice, persecution, etc. Bill Donohue is going to pull out of his ass. I find him fascinating in the same way I find Pat Robertson fascinating; they are both despicable, horrible people but exhibit a very entertaining form of bat-shittery.

  • CrapWiz

    And so how is contraception and the Healthcare Law their biggest problem?

  • TheExpatriate700

    I went to a Philadelphia Catholic School. Even back in the 80s and 90s , this was an open secret, to the point that my parents heavily limited my participation in extracurricular activities and forbade me from becoming an altar boy. 


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X