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Prosecutors enter evidence of cover-up in Philadelphia sex-abuse trial

March 28, 2012

At the felony trial of a former Philadelphia archdiocesan official, prosecutors have introduced evidence that Msgr. William Lynn deceived parishioners who expressed concerns about the behavior of a priest.

The prosecution produced letters from 1993 in which parishioners asked whether the absence of Father Edward Avery, who was had taken an unexpected leave of absence, was related to misconduct. Msgr. Lynn—who at the time was secretary for clergy in the archdiocese—responded with reassurances, saying that he had not heard “anything but compliments” about Avery. In fact the archdiocese had heard complaints of sexual abuse.

Avery, who has since been laicized, entered a guilty plea last week on a charge sexual assault.


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