Expert: Philadelphia Church Officials Could Have Referred Sex-Abuse Complaints to Police
An expert on Roman Catholicism told jurors Thursday that no church law prevented the Philadelphia archdiocese from relaying to police the scores of complaints coming in about priests molesting children.
The Rev. Thomas Doyle also described internal laws that make it a church crime to harbor criminals or fail to act in certain situations.
Doyle testified for the prosecution in the novel child-endangerment trial of Monsignor William Lynn, who served as secretary for clergy in Philadelphia from 1992 to 2004.
Lynn, 61, is the first Catholic church official in the U.S. charged with child endangerment for allegedly failing to protect children from suspected priest-predators. He isn’t accused of molesting children but of putting them in harm’s way through his administrative decisions. He faces years in prison if convicted.