Here’s the Full Superior Court Ruling Overturning Msgr. Lynn’s Conviction in the Catholic Sex Abuse Case

Superior Court says trial court had insufficient evidence.

In this March 27, 2012 file photo, Monsignor William Lynn leaves the Criminal Justice Center in Philadelphia.  (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

In this March 27, 2012 file photo, Monsignor William Lynn leaves the Criminal Justice Center in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File) reports that the Superior Court of Pennsylvania has overturned Msgr. William Lynn’s conviction for participating in the Catholic Church’s coverup of child sex abuse. “Lynn from 1992 to 2004 served as the secretary for clergy for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and was tasked with handling child sex abuse complaints. He was in June 2012 found guilty of felony child endangerment for covering up sex abuse claims brought against Catholic priests by reshuffling the accused to other parishes.”

Here’s the full opinion from the court:

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  • Jane Yavis

    Here we go again. Why has the catholic Church Lost Moral Standing in the United States? This morning bright and early a local talk Radio host was “outraged” at the verdict,,,,immediately brought Obama abortion and Birth control into the subject and praised Bill Donohue from a politically driven Catholic League for what he referred to as their never-ending defense of the Church. Surprised that Bill Donohue was THRILLED at the change, the Host again went political.

    This is an issue regarding pedophile priests, not what the Pope said about anything,,,,,It’s about pedophile priests who did what they did because they could.

    It’s also about a politically motivated self-appointed (Bill Donohue) spokesperson for the Catholic Church that the Catholic Church even says doesn’t represent them. It is also about a Catholic Hierarchy who willingly or unwillingly has been hi-jacked into the political arena.

    Bill Donohue and those jumping on a political bandwagon that made the victims look like the criminals, blames homosexuality not pedophelia, and never hesitates to bring the “LEFT” into the picture as anti-religion are responsible for the Catholic Church’s loss of moral authority. Any Catholic following the angry politically motivated Bill Donohue would have read his un-ending attacks on Seth Williams, and remembered him as well as many Conservative Talk Show Hosts calling for the DA’s “impeachment” for even bringing up this case.

    Where were the politically motivated Catholics Leaders who selectively and publilcly condemned certain politicians Communion habits when Rick Santorum and President Bush came to Philly the weekend before the then winning Toomey’s first Senate??? Not to endorse winnint in the primary, Pro Life Toomey – but to endorse and stump for a loosing in the Primary pro-choice Arlen Specter. When I called Santorum’s office, I was told “Toomey would not have been able to win in the General” so Santorum really had no choice.

    The silence was deafening, and sulllied the message terribly. And it’s about to start all over again. –

    • neil allen

      Well said, and Satan is proud of his catholic church.

      • Jane Yavis

        Neil you have left many posts on many sites,,,,, I am a little troubled by your fascination with Satan, What gives?

        • neil allen

          Satan runs the catholic church, and has literally convinced a billion people that rampant, organized child rape, committed & concealed using the power of their “god”, is cool with the real God.

          • Jade Davis

            Well if “Satan” runs the Catholic church, then who is “running” the public school system . . . . the problem of child rape and child molesting in the public school system is 100 times greater than any problem the Church has.

            Why are you trying to invoke Satan’s name all the time? Is it because you are trying to divert attention from the child rape and molesting that is going on in the public schools? Are you a supporter of child rape and child molesting in public schools?

          • Pastor Mark Powell

            Jade how old are you? Did you go to Jesuit school? I was trained by the Dominicans…so listen up…schools, churches, families, whatever…the fact is that who ever is involved in the act of sexually abusing a minor OR the cover up are criminals. Can we agree on that?

          • neil allen

            Another standard Catholic lie. PROVE that the public school system has 10 times the 4,392 substantiated, accused child sex offenders that the Catholic church admitted in their John Jay report of 2004.

            What you will find is that they lied to you. That “100 times” number that Catholics quote is based on the shakeshaft study, done only from 1990-1994, where shakeshaft included student on student “abuse, and considered “abuse” to be one student saying “nice ass” to another student, or saying they were “gay”.

            The Catholic church was very, very clever about distorting the truth about this, and you are passing on their lies. Now go seek the truth, or believe your pedophiles, then be prepared to tell God (who now knows you know the truth) that you believed the pedophiles, and didn’t seek the truth.

            By the way, I know the Catholic church also gave you that “public school” excuse, but would that matter? If another institution committed rampant, organized child rape, that would just mean they aren’t God’s church either.

        • Margaret Hester

          His name isn’t Neil – it’s Patrick O’Malley (aka 617-Patrick).

  • neil allen

    Msgr Lynn ADMITTED in court that he hid and moved 37 known pedopriests since 1994. This was organized crime, and he was at the center of it, along with Cardinal Bevilacqua, Bishops Cistone & Cullen, and 2 other high priests.

    The goal of the Catholic church is to see if they could use their power and money to help him get away with organized child sex. This is exactly what the devils church would do.

    May God have no mercy on those that support this organized child sex crime syndicate, claiming to act in God’s name, and acting exactly in defiance of what Jesus said in Matthew 18, where Jesus said Catholics will not be forgiven.

    • Jade Davis


      • neil allen

        Wow. Good comeback.

    • Pastor Mark Powell

      God is a just God for that you can be sure!!!

  • Pastor Mark Powell

    The three judge panel that recently dismissed the people’s guilty
    verdict of Msgr. Lynn of the Philadelphia Archdiocese is a travesty of justice
    and should be appealed by the District Attorney. In reading the appellate court decision, it
    becomes clear that Msgr. Lynn did the dirty work of his employers who had rights
    and responsibilities overseeing the duty of care of all the little sheep in
    their flock. The governing authority of a Roman diocese lies in the hands of
    the man whom the Bishop of Rome appoints as the Ordinary of the diocese. The
    Ordinary is referred to as the bishop who then appoints his staff for the
    smooth administration of the territory entrusted to him by the bishop in Rome.
    Thus the Roman Catholic Church establishes a universal connection with every
    territory in the world which is under authority exercised by the local bishop in
    union with the bishop of Rome. Each
    bishop at his episcopal ordination is asked, “Are you resolved as a devoted
    father to sustain the people of God and to guide them on the way of salvation
    in cooperation with the priests and deacons who share your ministry?” Thus in a
    very real sense, while Msgr. Lynn and his attorneys can attempt to perform the Clintonian
    parse what the meaning of “is” is, it is evident to the common sense of the
    community that Msgr. Lynn’s actions were
    within the scope of caring for ALL the sheep of the flock including the
    children of St. Jerome’s and every school, parish and ministry of the
    Archdiocese of Philadelphia in the sharing of the Archbishop’s ministry especially
    as a chancery official.

    Therefore, Mr. Williams, as district attorney, please exercise
    the appeal of this three judge decision. It is hoped that Mr. Lynn stays in
    confinement until his appeal is heard by the Highest Court. This case has not
    only national but international ramifications in every Roman diocese in the

    While the later legislative decision to clarify its meaning
    of who is responsible for endangering the welfare of children, it is never the
    less clear that a broad understanding of the law is necessary. As the appellate
    judges stated, “ As a result of the
    statute’s protective purpose, our Supreme Court has explicitly instructed lower
    courts interpreting this provision to do so according to “the common sense
    of the community,” as well as “the sense of decency, propriety and
    the morality which most people entertain.” Mack , 359
    A.2d at 772; Commonwealth v. Marlin, 305 A.2d 14, 18 (Pa. 1973),
    quoting Commonwealth v. Randall , 133 A.2d 276, 280 (Pa.
    1957). Just that alone should give you confidence that the appellate judges
    failed to give the common sense of the community and the jurors that found Mr.
    Lynn guilty of a felony. So egregious was Mr. Lynn’s crime because he was not honest and mislead the team at St.
    John Vianney in their effort to help Mr. Avery’s psychological /social criminal
    behavior. This inaction on the part of Mr. Lynn shows a pattern of deception
    which occurs throughout the “therapy” commenced at the in-treatment facility
    and during his time loose in the community.

    How can anyone with common sense and a sense of decency,
    propriety and morality which MOST PEOPLE entertain even for one second believe
    that a grown adult who is capable of sexually stimulating to climax a grade
    school age boy is at all capable of being within the public without the consideration
    that this type of criminal behavior would occur again.

    Msgr. Lynn’s ministry in assisting the Archbishop was the ‘supervision of the welfare of children’ as
    he was given the authority to recommend
    to the Archbishop final approval of service appointments which directly
    affected the lives of the sheep, especially the littlest among them. Msgr. Lynn
    knowingly sent wolves in sheep’s clothing into the sheep pen to devour the innocent

    Msgr. Lynn’s directive for the parish pastor of Fr. Avery’s
    is clear; he had a concern about Father Avery’s actions with children which
    again shows Msgr Lynn in a supervisory role. Another question keeps coming up
    is when were police authorities made aware of Fr. Avery’s crimes? Were there
    announcements at parishes Avery served at and police hotline numbers or text
    message numbers directly to authorities given out at Masses at those locations?
    If not, why not? How are other victims to feel safe when they might have to be
    confronted by someone from the denomination?

    The three judge panel relies heavily on the Hayle case. The Halye Court did not
    address, in any fashion, whether Halye had a duty of care, protection or
    support with respect to the child victim in that case. The Halye Court
    based its decision solely on the Commonwealth’s failure to prove that Halye
    “was in the position of supervising the children ….” Halye, 719
    A.2d at 765. This should be the key to overturn the three judges ruling since
    Msgr. Lynn DID HAVE a duty of care, protection and support for all the sheep of
    the Good Shepherd especially the little lambs which were chosen to be devoured
    by these wolves in sheep’s clothing. Msgr. Lynn’s case and the Hayle case are apples
    and oranges and the appeal of this current ruling is necessary to strengthen
    the scope of child protection in the state of Pennsylvania.

    Under the statute in
    place at time of conviction from the jury of Msgr. Lynn’s peers, it is written,
    “A parent, guardian or other person supervising the welfare of a child under 18
    years of age commits an offense if he knowingly endangers the welfare of the
    child by violating a duty of care, protection or support.”

    Msgr. Lynn had a duty of care for all the sheep of the flock
    of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. In his ministry as the Archbishop’s point
    person on clergy child sex abuse predators, Lynn knowingly did not ascertain further
    evidence of any other wrong doing from Fr. Avery, any of Avery’s former pastors
    or parishioners or disc jockey clients.

    Msgr. Lynn cannot escape his guilt in the eyes of the common
    sense of the community as an accomplice of a child sex abuse predator. The law
    is clear as stated in the appellate paper, “The Crimes Code provides that “[a]
    person is guilty of an offense if it is committed by his own conduct or
    by the conduct of another person for which he is legally accountable ,
    or both.” 18 Pa.C.S. § 306(a) (emphasis added). A person is “legally
    accountable for the conduct of another person” committing a criminal offense
    when “he is an accomplice of such other person in the commission of the
    offense.” 18 Pa.C.S. § 306(b).

    While now Msgr. Lynn’s attorneys are trying to separate their man from the immorality and
    crime committed, the crime could not have continued without the help and
    support of Msgr. Lynn. Who knows how many victims are still out in the
    community afraid of coming forward for whatever reason and this latest circus
    aids no one: not the victims, their families and the healing needed for the Church.
    Firmum est cor meum. Appeal Mr. Williams and quick.

    • Jade Davis

      You don’t mention your denomination. However, it is clear that the problem is at least as bad in any denomination as the Catholic Church. You are a hypocrite and a bigot.

      • neil allen

        You’re a Catholic, so you’re a liar.

        The Catholic church ADMITTED 4,392 admitted, substantiated, accused child sex offending priests in the Catholic church’s own John Jay report of 2004. No institution in US history is even close.

        PROVE that one is, without using the Catholic dishonesty techniques of extrapolation or estimates.

        • Pastor Mark Powell

          Neil, you are correct. The sheep have been led by wolves in shepherd’s clothing for too long. They have not been given the ability to think but have a… what I call a “Veil of Ignorance” over their thought processes. When it comes to spiritual matters it is the priest’s lead that is followed…even though the number of former Romans are growing each day…most will retain their memberships but not go to church except for Christmas and Easter. Funny, the Jews have the same problem with their congregants too. As a Vatican-trained Lutheran pastor who is half Jewish I look upon this problem as my King does arrogance has no place, children’s innocence and their lives are of supreme importance to King Jesus. His command is clear about the millstone…He was not joking. satan is having a field day around the world and he and his minions have co-opted the billion souls who claim Rome as their spiritual mecca. God help them all understand the weight of the crisis that is still ongoing…take a Google into what is now happening in the Archdiocese of St. Paul / Minneapolis. This will never be over until there is massive reform in the Roman church….but where there is life there is hope. I keep praying every day!!!

          • neil allen

            I know about Minne/StPaul, and LA, and Philly, etc.

            If you believe in the bible, read Revelations Chapters 14-18, with the following thoughts:
            – Babylon is the Catholic church
            – Rome is the City Of The Seven Hills (meaning the Vatican)
            – the 144,000 are the children that were raped
            – the “woman in scarlet 7 purple is the Pope, who normally wore those colors
            The 144,000 victims will judge the followers of the Catholic church, and a mighty angel throws the whole Catholic church into the sea, with a millstone. That is the only other reference to a millstone in the bible.

      • Pastor Mark Powell

        Thank you Jade for your ability to reason without resulting to ad hominem attacks. If you would for a second use your rational mind, I was born and raised Roman Catholic, was a novice monk at 17, studied in the college seminary and appointed by the bishop to study at the Vatican…so I do have some personal knowledge of the issue to which I speak. I am currently a LCMC Lutheran pastor and quite frankly if I ever knew of a pastor or person in the congregation that was sexually abusing children, my first call would be to the police to investigate. It makes NO DIFFERENCE whose branch of the vine is in peril. What has become the fact is that because of the actions and lack of action by the American Roman bishops and leaders of other denominations Christ’s voice in America is muted at the moment. Quite frankly it is the Roman denomination that has moved the ball on this crime since it uses its Embassy status as a City/State…a deal it made with satan’s representative in 1929…the murderer Mussolini. So Jade, before you spout off with words like hypocrite and bigot at least use the brain God gave you to make a rational and practical argument to defend your defense of people who prey on helpless children and teens. Think twice, that is my pastoral advice to you…for God Himself is watching all of our words in this matter. Blessings on the gift of this day, + Pastor Mark :)

  • Jade Davis

    This part of the Court’s order says it all:

    “Having determined that the evidence was not sufficient to support

    Appellant’s conviction for EWOC either as a principal or as an accomplice, weare compelled to reverse Appellant’s judgment of sentence. A

    nd, as thereare no other offenses for which he was convicted in this case, Appellant isordered discharged forthwith.”

    • neil allen

      Actually, what says it all is that Catholics fight to save a pedophile protector who admitted in court that he knowingly, willfully hid 35 child rapists. Catholics never tried to find the victims. This is the opposite of What Jesus Would Do, as Jesus said in Matthew 18.

      Catholics have gotten away with organized child rape, and are proud and defiant about it.

      Of course, they aren’t the Church Of Jesus Christ, and those who support them are not forgiven, IF you believe What Jesus Said instead of what pedophiles said.

      • Pastor Mark Powell

        It is very clear the Roman church from the Vatican down has done a great deal of harm to the catholic Church of Jesus the Christ. satan has been having a field day within that denomination…and the jesuit makes karol a saint…talk about public relations!

        • neil allen

          I disagree. The Catholic Church ISN’T the Church Of Jesus Christ.

          The Church Of Jesus Christ could not commit, conceal, and condone rampant organized child rape, and use the power and money they have to fight for the child rapists and fight against victims. Read Matthew 18. It is impossible for the Church Of Jesus Christ to do the exact opposite of that, and to lie and deceive people into thinking that getting away with child rape is ok with God.

          The Church Of Jesus Christ also would not be filthy, filthy rich. It just wouldn’t. It would not waste a penny on huge churches, gold chalices, and other “graven images” until there was NO starvation.

          The Catholic church is run by satan, who is very smart, and convinces them that the bar for Christianity is so low that they should fight for organized child rape instead of fighting against it, and they should fight the victims of child rape instead of finding each one, as Jesus said in Matt 18:10-14.

          • Pastor Mark Powell

            Hi Neil, you might want to re-read the bit I wrote…I used catholic with a small “c” not a capital “C” which would indicate the Roman church…the universal (meaning of catholic btw) Church of Jesus Christ is His remnant Church and let me tell you satan is having a field day in EVERY denomination and association these days…including the LCMS, Baptist and Pentecostal churches….so we all are in the same boat of being under attack…but you are correct any organization that puts up with organized child sex rings instead of fighting for victims is a crime syndicate. I know full well since I too am a survivor of clergy sex abuse when I was a minor. So it is personal. I have a twin brother who is a Roman priest who no longer speaks to me…last time 2006 at my mother’s funeral…he said Mark you picked the politically correct time to leave the Church and I said Michael I have not left the Church. So just giving you a bit of my background Neil. Thanks for your ZEAL…Neal…funny how that rhymes :)

          • neil allen

            I grew up Catholic, schools & all, and I don’t know the C vs c issue. I have since learned enough to know it isn’t the Church Of Jesus Christ, and that they literally just made up confession, despite the 2nd half of John 20:23 and Matt 18:6. Only Satan would say everyone’s forgiven if a Catholic priest forgives them. That’s literally the greatest invention of all time.

            I’m so sorry to hear your were abused. I know a few victims, and one killed himself. We stopped hanging around with him when he withdrew and became weird. At least 2 priests knew, and they never helped him. He never got over it, and killed himself. I don’t give a crap what Catholics say – God considers that torture and murder.
            Your twin brother will be punished. God doesn’t let you get away with that in the name of God. I don’t think any Catholics will be forgiven. Read Revelations Ch 14-18. God is not forgiving, and a mighty angel throws the Catholic church into the sea.

    • Pastor Mark Powell

      Did you read the whole thing? And you are proud of this? Very telling.

  • Jane Yavis

    Perhaps Pastor Powell and Neil Allen could take their anti-catholic rhetoric off line? Their use of of a tragedy to spew their anti-catholic bigotry sullies their form of Christianity.