The sex abuse trial against Msgr. William Lynn, the former secretary for clergy at the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, and accused predator priests that is ongoing in Philadelphia continues to give the gift of making it painfully obvious to all but the most delusional that the Church hierarchy is morally bankrupt and that the leadership did not give a damn about the welfare of children and youths. It was all about protecting those in the clergy. The number of young lives damaged or destroyed never, ever mattered to these horrible bitter men. That two cardinals played active roles in allowing the sex abuse to continue for years speaks volumes. I truly do not know how a moral person can remain a Roman Catholic under the current hierarchy, many of whom, in my opinion, ought to be serving long prison terms. Here are highlights from the New York Times on the latest horrors to be revealed:
Two men testified Wednesday of abuse they suffered as youths at the hands of a now defrocked Philadelphia priest. The two victims of Edward Avery, a former priest who has pleaded guilty to sexual assault charges, appeared during the landmark trial of Msgr. William Lynn, the former secretary for clergy at the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, who is charged with child endangerment. Monsignor Lynn is suspected of allowing priests accused of abuse to remain in positions where they could continue to abuse children.One victim, now 23, told the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas how Mr. Avery abused him in the sacristy of St. Jerome’s Catholic Church in Northeast Philadelphia in 1998, when he was 10 years old. The man said that he had already been abused by the Rev. Charles Engelhardt, another priest who is charged with abuse, and that Mr. Avery said he intended to do the same thing with him. “He said he heard about my sessions with Father Engelhardt and that ours were going to begin soon,” said the man, who was an altar boy.The witness said the priest turned on music and forced the boy to do a striptease until he was naked. He then sat the boy on his lap, and forced him to perform oral sex and masturbation, and told him that he was doing God’s will. “ ‘This is what God wants,’ ” the witness said Mr. Avery told him.The other victim, now 49, struggled to keep his composure at times as he recalled being abused at Mr. Avery’s residence when he was 15 and again on a ski trip to Vermont when he was 18. Last month, Mr. Avery pleaded guilty to rape and conspiracy and was sentenced to two and a half to five years in prison.
Pope Benedict XVI and the Vatican can crack down on American nuns for not being sufficiently anti-gay and for focusing on social ministry, yet those who protected and enabled sexual predators remain untouched. It is beyond sickening.