Cardinal Bevilacqua ruled competent to testify in Philadelphia case
CWN - January 30, 2012
A Pennsylvania judge has ruled for the 2nd time that retired Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua is competent to give testimony in the trial of a former aide.
Defense lawyers for Msgr. William Lynn have argued that Cardinal Bevilacqua, who at the age of 88 is reportedly suffering from both cancer and dementia, no longer remembers events from his tenure as Archbishop of Philadelphia, from 1987 to 2003. Because of his faulty memory, the lawyers say, they cannot engage in meaningful cross-examination of the elderly prelate. The defense lawyers argue that in responding to sex-abuse complaints against priests of the archdiocese, Msgr. Lynn was carrying out the cardinal’s orders.
Judge Teresa Sarmina ruled, however, that testimony from Cardinal Bevilacqua would be allowed when Msgr. Lynn’s case comes to trial in March. The cardinal has already testified at a videotaped deposition. He may also be called to appear in person at the trial.
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