The Catholic Church is famous for protecting its pedophile priests at the cost of the children it should have been protecting. Normally, priests who abuse children are only held legally responsible after years of being moved from parish to parish. Once enough evidence piles up and the dirt becomes too big to sweep under the rug, then, occasionally, a priest will be convicted.
The tide may be turning at long last. Catholic Monsignor William Lynn was convicted this week, not of abusing children directly, but of protecting an abuser.
In sentencing Lynn to three to six years in state prison for his conviction last month for child endangerment, [Judge M. Teresa] Sarmina rejected the notion put forth by Lynn’s supporters that he was a scapegoat or victim of circumstances. Instead, she said, he was an educated man who knew right but chose to do wrong. Sarmina said that Lynn had shielded, protected and aided “monsters in clerical garb” while he “refused to hear and refused to see” their young victims.
Lynn, the highest-ranking American Catholic official convicted of child abuse charges, could have been sentenced to seven years or released on probation. Child abuse survivors and their supporters are happy with the result of the trial. The Archdiocese is not.
“Fair-minded people will question the severity of the heavy, three-to-six-year sentence imposed on Monsignor Lynn today,” the Archdiocese said in a news release. “We hope that when this punishment is objectively reviewed, it will be adjusted.
Maybe — and maybe it can be adjusted up instead of down…