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Lawyers say cardinal shredded names of 35 abuser priests
Cardinal Anthony J. Bevilacqua died in January. Had he survived long enough to give testimony in a court case which is scheduled for next month, he would have faced a daunting body of evidence against him.
- John P. Martin
- United States
- February 27, 2012
The order, outlined in a handwritten note locked away for years at the archdiocese's Center City offices, was disclosed Friday by lawyers for Msgr. William J. Lynn, the former church administrator facing trial next month.
They say the shredding directive proves what Lynn has long claimed: that a church conspiracy to conceal clergy sex abuse was orchestrated at levels far above him.
"It is beyond doubt that Msgr. Lynn was completely unaware of this act of obstruction," attorneys Jeffrey Lindy and Thomas Bergstrom wrote.
Their motion asks Common Pleas Court Judge M. Teresa Sarmina to dismiss the conspiracy and endangerment charges against Lynn, or to bar prosecutors from introducing Bevilacqua's videotaped testimony at trial.
The cardinal died Jan. 31.
The revelation is likely to further cloud Bevilacqua's complicated legacy in the handling of clergy sex abuse and could shape what happens at the historic trial, the first for a cleric accused of covering up sex abuse. Jury selection began this week. Opening statements are March 26.
Full Story: Lawyers: Bevilacqua ordered memo on priests to be shredded
Source: Philadelphia Inquirer