A Philadelphia jury made history today when it found Msgr. William Lynn guilty of endangering the welfare of a child. The jury’s decision is historic and unprecedented. Until now no top Catholic official has been criminally convicted for child endangerment. The result of this difficult and arduous trial presents the first true day of reckoning in the criminal justice system against any top official in the Catholic church hierarchy.
For decades the top officials of the Catholic Church, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and elsewhere, have operated above the law and with impunity, believing that they could not and would never be held accountable. Now, finally, because of courageous survivors, as well as prosecutors and law enforcement that were willing to take a stand, justice is served. With this justice comes great hope and promise to all those who have fought for so long.
We applaud the prosecutors, the survivors, and all those who contributed to the exposure of the truth. We are deeply grateful for the many survivors with whom we work. And we continue to be inspired by those who chose to break the silence and make their painful histories known in order to protect other kids. A new and better day is upon us and we’re proud to stand on the shoulders of the courageous survivors whom we work with every day.
In addition to the guilty finding, the jury acquitted Lynn on one charge of conspiracy and another charge of child endangerment. The jury was hung as to two charges involving James Brennan including attempted rape and endangering the welfare of a child.