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Philadelphia jury breaks for weekend in key sex-abuse trial

Catholic World News - June 08, 2012

After 5 days of deliberation, the jury in a sex-abuse case involving a former official of the Philadelphia archdiocese has been excused for the weekend. The jury will resume its deliberations on Monday, June 11.

Jurors have already asked Judge Teresa Sarmina to release them on Wednesday, June 13, if they have not reached a verdict by that time. Their lengthy discussions indicate that the jury is having difficulty finding consensus on the guilt or innocence of two accused priests, Msgr. William Lynn and Father James Brennan.

The Philadelphia case is being closely watched because it is the first criminal trial in which an archdiocesan official, Msgr. Lynn, has been charged with endangering children by failing to take disciplinary action against priests accused of sexual abuse. Msgr. Lynn’s defense lawyers have argued that he was merely carrying out the policies of his superiors when he served as vicar for clergy under the late Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua.

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