Philadelphia’s Msgr William Lynn got three-to-six in sentencing today. Ralph Cipriano has the most content of the many bloggers and news sources.
It still seems remarkable that a non-abuser could spend a few years in jail. His defense attorneys suggest he was only the patsy for Cardinal Bevilacqua. Consider that that story would have landed the archbishop of Philadelphia in jail, had he been on trial in his lieutenant’s place. I wonder about the result of the Kansas City trial later this year. Will the prosecution be as brutally rude as in Philly? I hope not. The case needs to be made on its own merits, and not by grandstanding.
Many, many commentators have underscored the psychological harm to victims. One recent article cited broken relationships, substance abuse, and emotional dysfunction. One thing not cited as often is the damage to belief, something far more widespread than victims. Many believers are shocked at the behavior of their clergy, especially bishops. Chasing people away from the Church is literally the antigospel in action.
Not only will Msgr Lynn serve time in prison, but so will the Gospel. Until bishops can demonstrate with great clarity their own commitment to moral conduct, the work of evangelization will be hampered.