home
RSS
April 23rd, 2012
09:40 PM ET

Priest's guilty plea throws wrinkle into Philadelphia sexual abuse trial

By Sarah Hoye, CNN

Philadelphia (CNN) - Attorneys in the child sexual abuse and conspiracy trial of two Philadelphia priests debated Monday over which potential witnesses jurors would be allowed to hear regarding a third defendant who pleaded guilty to molesting boys just days before opening remarks.

Defrocked priest Edward Avery of the Philadelphia Archdiocese pleaded guilty to involuntary deviate sexual intercourse and conspiracy to endanger the welfare of child after admitting that he sexually assaulted a 10-year-old altar boy during the 1998-1999 school year. Avery, 69, was sentenced to two-and-a-half to five years.

The Rev. James Brennan is accused of attempted rape of a 14-year-old, and Monsignor William Lynn is accused of covering it up. Lynn is the first high-ranking church figure charged with child endangerment for shuffling predator priests from parish to parish.

FULL STORY
- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Catholic Church • Courts • Crime

soundoff (54 Responses)
  1. Erik Cirri

    Whether you're 35 and just beginning to see the first signs of aging, or 55 with skin that isn't exactly keeping your birthday a secret, seeking ways to reduce wrinkles is probably on your agenda.*,'^

    Remember to read our blog site

    http://www.healthmedicinedigest.co/

    August 12, 2013 at 4:25 am |
  2. Babbuzzo Natale

    Whether you’re 35 and just beginning to see the first signs of aging, or 55 with skin that isn’t exactly keeping your birthday a secret, seeking ways to reduce wrinkles is probably on your agenda.

    May 19, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
  3. b4bigbang

    "Swarm" of earthquakes detected in Pac NW (4/19).
    Jesus predicted these occurances as part of the signs indicating the end times!
    Read about it in the Gospels!

    April 25, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
  4. just sayin

    God Bless the Catholics and their support of Child Ra p ists. Your God is wonderful!!!!

    April 24, 2012 at 5:32 pm |
    • Reality

      ONLY FOR THE NEWCOMERS:

      The "vomit-inducing" ped-ophilia and coverup will simply hasten the decline of all religions as they finally go extinct from their own absurdity.. It is time to replace all religions with a few rules like "Do No Harm" and convert all houses of "worthless worship" to recreation facilities and parks.

      To be fair:

      In reality, Christianity/Catholicism should not exist since it is based on flawed history and theology. Without these flaws, there would be no RCC and therefore no priests and therefore no cases of priestly pedophilia. Ditto for all the other Christian sects like the Southern Baptist Convention and Seven Day Adventists where pedophilia and coverups have been a major issue. Judaism with its flawed history and theology is in the same situation. Correct the flaws and there would be no Judaism and therefore no rabbis and therefore no cases of rabbinic pedophilia.

      But the problem is not restricted to religion:

      "A jury in Oregon ordered the Boy Scouts of America to pay $18.5 million to a former Scout who suffered se-xual abuse as a child at the hands of his troop leader — the largest such award levied against the organization, reports The Oregonian.
      Attorneys for 38-year-old Kerry Lewis said the verdict exposed the organization’s “dark history with pedophiles and its unwillingness to come to terms with the problem.” They waved “perversion files“ around the courtroom – secret files kept by the Scouts docu- menting claims of se-xual abuse by troop leaders and volunteers over a 70 year-period."
      +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

      April 25, 2012 at 7:40 am |
  5. Voice of Reason

    As evil as the crime is does it warrant imprisonment with psychiatric counseling or is this beyond fixable?

    April 24, 2012 at 12:55 pm |
    • Taiping

      This isn't the only country where you spend more time in prison for murdering an adult than for murdering a child.

      I'd prefer executing these incredibly horrible people who see nothing wrong with destroying a child's life.
      Where was their empathy, their sympathy? They must have that problem with the forebrain where they simply cannot understand that other people have feelings and are more than just shapes they can damage for fun.

      Death penalty all the way. Why waste money on the worst humanity has to offer? I'd want protections in place to ensure no innocent people get the death penalty of course. But as forensics and other investigative science progresses, the number of cases in doubt should shrink quite a bit.

      April 24, 2012 at 3:21 pm |
  6. GodsPeople

    I don't believe 2-5 years is sufficient time for this heinous a crime. 25+ years sounds better. I do believe William is right, however, as I've heard the stories on how pedophiles get murdered by other inmates.

    April 24, 2012 at 12:22 pm |
    • Kim

      Wow..these pictures are anmliagzy irresistible to look at..it makes the pictures more beautiful and sweet to look at.The way the shots look, this is a work of art..one look of it and it catches all your attention.

      May 19, 2012 at 9:37 pm |
  7. Jorge

    Q: Why do priests wear frocks?
    A: To hide the little boys...

    April 24, 2012 at 9:23 am |
  8. William Demuth

    How is this justice?

    Luckily, his fellow inmates will murder him well before he gets out.

    April 24, 2012 at 8:46 am |
    • just sayin

      But not before he is r a p ed over and over again.

      April 24, 2012 at 5:33 pm |
  9. sam stone

    the vatican: the roman empire's version of NAMBLA

    April 24, 2012 at 4:10 am |
  10. PlayCracktheSky

    5 years max? That's ridiculous. He should get 20 years, at least. It's sad that people get longer sentences for drug pocession then r aping a child. Our justice system is a joke

    April 24, 2012 at 1:21 am |
    • Commiserator

      Worse than a joke. A damn shame it is so bad. Anyone going to fix it? Anyone? Anyone at all?

      No. Status quo means never having to improve anything.

      April 24, 2012 at 2:26 am |
    • GodsPeople

      I think what we're seeing here is the result of a plea bargain. I do not believe in plea bargains. If someone refuses to admit their guilt (if they are guilty as this guy is) then take it to trial and let him suffer the real consequences. God will not plea bargain. He will consign the spirits of the child molesters to the lake of fire where they belong.

      April 24, 2012 at 1:27 pm |
    • A Frayed Knot

      GodsPeople, "God will not plea bargain. He will consign the spirits of the child molesters to the lake of fire where they belong."

      And your verified evidence for this is...?

      Nope. We are on our own here, folks. Do the best that we can to make things peaceful and just for all.

      April 24, 2012 at 1:33 pm |
    • GodsPeople

      @A-frayed: I can tell you are afraid of God, and all sinners should be, for His wrath is mighty. Only the sinful and the amoral seek proof of the Lord. Those of us who go to Him go willingly, even eagerly, for He fills us with the love we can give to our neighbors, our brothers and friends.

      April 24, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
    • *facepalm*

      @GodsPeople – so your god will only love you if you worship him. But if you don't, you get tortured. That sounds like a tyrant that would make Machiavelli proud or a very abusive parent. Not a being worth worshipping.

      April 24, 2012 at 2:14 pm |
    • GodsPeople

      @Facepalm: Say what you will, I will always retain my faith in God the Almighty, and His Son Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior.

      April 24, 2012 at 2:21 pm |
    • *facepalm*

      Hey, if you want to worship and evil tyrant, that's your business. But if you're trying to use fear to convert people, I think you're going to find your attempts fall very flat.

      April 24, 2012 at 2:26 pm |
    • GodsPeople

      @Facepalm: I don't try to convert people at all. I let people fall or rise where they will. God gave us all free will as His most divine gift. It is not my place to violate that free will at all. The only time I feel it's right to infringe on free will is if the action being taken is illegal or will cause undue harm to another.

      April 24, 2012 at 2:34 pm |
    • GodsPeople

      @Facepalm: Also, I'd love to ask.. have you considered just conversing without the hate speceh? "worship an evil tyrant"? That's crazy. I don't worship Mao Tse Tung or Pol Pot. I don't worship Adolf Hitler (although questions are valid as to whether or not he was evil.. a dictator, absolutely.) I worship the loving God of this world and all others. I know many atheists hate the "father to son" analogy, but it is very accurate. God is a Father to us, He guides us through darkness and into the light. He provides us with the way we can grow spiritually within Him, as well as the right way to live life in His name and His grace. I don't see anything evil about that.

      April 24, 2012 at 2:45 pm |
    • *facepalm*

      Hate speech? Really?

      Here's a simple thought experiment for you. Let's say that I have two kids. I hand them a contradictory set of rules that they're supposed to follow. I then completely step out of their lives. For the one who gets it right, I lavish presents on them. For the one who guesses wrong, I torture them – don't unspeakable things to them. Am I a loving parent? Apparently you think so.

      Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, Vlad Dracul, etc. are harmless little kittens compared to the type of ruler your god is. Eternal torture. That you justify that as loving is, frankly, sick.

      April 24, 2012 at 2:49 pm |
    • GodsPeople

      You know, I try to talk to you atheists. I even try to find some common ground to try to connect to you in some way. All I get in return is hate speech. God does not torture anyone. They torture themselves. People set themselves on their own path provided by their own free will. If God wanted mindless robots, He wouldn't have given us that. He wants us to come to Him of His own will. As a father, you punish your children. As a Father, He allows those who refuse to see the light of Divine Truth to suffer the consequences of THEIR making. There is nothing contradictory about the bible in any way. It just so happens that you need good reading comprehension and philosophical understanding to see it.

      April 24, 2012 at 2:54 pm |
    • sam

      @facepalm – you've initiated the bot-like 'God the Almighty, and His Son Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior' sequence in this individual, and nothing more will come of it short of "I try to talk to you athiests."

      April 24, 2012 at 2:59 pm |
    • *facepalm*

      hate speech. honestly, get over yourself.

      Your god tortures people. He doesn't make the rules clear, and then tortures people when they don't follow them. Depending on your particular beliefs, you get tortured even if you never heard that there might be rules, or were given a different set of rules. While your god might not be doing the actual torturing, he sits idly by while it happens with the power to change that.

      Again, if I just sat by and watched my child get tortured when I had the opportunity to do something about it, I'd get locked up for a very long time. Why does your god get a pass for the same behavior? How, exactly, is pointing this out "hate speech"

      If I demanded that people worship me and had them tortured if they didn't, I'd be called an egotistical sadist. How is this any different from what, say, Stalin did? Except that a stay in Stalin's gulag had an expiration date – your god's torture does not. Again, why does your god get a pass? And why is pointing this out "hate speech" Drop the rhetoric, get over yourself, and actually try to address the points I'm making.

      April 24, 2012 at 3:08 pm |
    • momoya

      @God's People

      Why do you approve of "might makes right" psychology and subjective morals?? (Your god is "moral" when he tortures people but for anybody else it would be wrong; god is right because he's the most mighty as in he is god).

      April 24, 2012 at 3:26 pm |
    • sam stone

      GodsPeople; How do you know what god will or will not do? Projecting a bit, are ya?

      April 24, 2012 at 4:07 pm |
    • sam stone

      "I can tell you are afraid of God, and all sinners should be, for His wrath is mighty"

      I can tell you it is illogical for people to fear retaliation from a being in which they do not believe,

      I suspect you just like to appear all pious with your empty proxy warnings

      April 24, 2012 at 4:09 pm |
    • sam stone

      "Those of us who go to Him go willingly, even eagerly"

      Really? Do you have tall buildings where you live?

      April 24, 2012 at 4:11 pm |
    • sam stone

      The father-son analogy is not a good one. Would you torture you child?

      April 24, 2012 at 4:14 pm |
    • GodsPeople

      @Facepalm: You make no viable points for me to address. You are completely wrong in every way and apparently have either never read the bible or lack the reading comprehension skills to actually understand it.

      @sam stone: spamming still doesn't make you correct. Please try again later.

      April 24, 2012 at 5:16 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      @GodsPeople

      Saying he is wrong doesn't make it so. If you believe in a literal hell then his points are valid.

      April 24, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
    • GodsPeople

      @HawaiiGuest: Hell to me is separation from God. Not a literal place, but but a spiritual removal that the person causes themselves by refusing to accept Christ. After all, why should God accept people who won't accept Him?

      April 24, 2012 at 7:47 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      So you have one of the many different interpretations of hell. Guess your god isn't such an all-loving being though. Kinda vain to say "Well YOU didn't accept me so I'm not gonna talk to you for all eternity." I can just picture a 5 year old pouty face as well. Actually it's kind of funny.

      April 24, 2012 at 7:54 pm |
    • momoya

      God has proof of me; I don't have proof of him; why don't he act like it?

      April 24, 2012 at 9:55 pm |
    • *facepalm*

      @Godspeople – I've read the bible, cover to cover. Maybe you missed the part where your supposed savior mentions that it would have been better to never have been born than to go to hell. And perhaps you missed the multiple references by your savior to fire. Whether figurative or literal, it's clear that it's akin to torture. How else can you POSSIBLY take that it would have been better to have never been born. Does it matter if the torture is "physical" (which it obviously can't be if you don't have a body) or "mental"?

      You don't address my points because you can't. People are tortured because of the arbitrary and obviously unclear rules that your god puts forth. He could do something about it (assuming that he is actually omnipotent) but doesn't. He sits idly by and watches people in anguish. How can you NOT consider that evil?

      April 25, 2012 at 2:33 am |
    • GodsPeople

      blah blah blah... all you post is hate.

      April 25, 2012 at 8:21 am |
    • sam stone

      GodsPeople: And all you post is your persecution complex. Get over yourself

      April 25, 2012 at 9:32 am |
    • momoya

      @God'sPeople

      No, you liar, *facepalm*'s post had NO "hate" in it..

      You are just uncomfortable with the questions his post raises.. Why don't you muster up a little courage for once in your life and rise to the challenge?. Why don't you deal with the points in *facepalm's post? Is it just easier to lie about it and run away?

      April 25, 2012 at 9:59 am |
    • GodsPeople

      @Facepalm: The "rules," as you put i-t, are very clearly laid out. There are 10 co-mmandments that are plain statements. There are 7 dea-dly sins that are as clear as day. Jesus Himself speaks often in parabole, but is also clearly understood: Be kind to each other, give to your fellow in need, take care of each other, love each other as God loves us all. Have faith in He who is God and Savior of man. Don't ask for miracles to be able to believe, believe and sometimes miracles will be visited on you. Be aware of s-in in your dealings. Be honest and trustworthy. Be true to yourself and God. How is this hard to understand?

      April 25, 2012 at 12:06 pm |
    • momoya

      @GodsPeople

      When are you going to apologize for lying?? Do you "justify" lying when you do it "for christ" with atheists?

      April 25, 2012 at 1:47 pm |
    • *facepalm*

      "The "rules," as you put i-t, are very clearly laid out. There are 10 co-mmandments that are plain statements. "

      BWHAHAHAHA. That's a good one. If the rules are so clear, why are there tens of thousands of flavors of Christianity. Why are you right and millions – or billions – of other people wrong?

      Ten commandments? Try 600+ Why do you limit the entire OT to just a few verses? And Christians can't even agree on what exactly the ten commandments are. If you people can't even get that small part straight, what exactly makes you think that things are crystal clear? Wear any mixed textiles lately?

      Wow ... and you accuse me of not reading and understanding the bible.

      April 25, 2012 at 2:35 pm |
    • *facepalm*

      " all you post is hate."

      I post realities of your text that you find inconvenient so you choose to take the cowardly way and ignore them. How is that hate on my part? Sorry that you find your own book inconvenient to defend.

      April 25, 2012 at 2:37 pm |
    • Auth

      angie Posted on I laguhed and laguhed and laguhed when I saw this picuture! This is the same look my dog gives me anytime I do anything to her. Actually that's the same look I get from almost everybody after a finished craft project. yep, count me in the more faills than sucesses for sure.

      September 6, 2012 at 8:05 pm |
  11. Reality

    ONLY FOR THE NEWCOMERS:

    The "vomit-inducing" ped-ophilia and coverup will simply hasten the decline of all religions as they finally go extinct from their own absurdity.. It is time to replace all religions with a few rules like "Do No Harm" and convert all houses of "worthless worship" to recreation facilities and parks.

    To be fair:

    In reality, Christianity/Catholicism should not exist since it is based on flawed history and theology. Without these flaws, there would be no RCC and therefore no priests and therefore no cases of priestly pedophilia. Ditto for all the other Christian sects like the Southern Baptist Convention and Seven Day Adventists where pedophilia and coverups have been a major issue. Judaism with its flawed history and theology is in the same situation. Correct the flaws and there would be no Judaism and therefore no rabbis and therefore no cases of rabbinic pedophilia.

    But the problem is not restricted to religion:

    "A jury in Oregon ordered the Boy Scouts of America to pay $18.5 million to a former Scout who suffered se-xual abuse as a child at the hands of his troop leader — the largest such award levied against the organization, reports The Oregonian.
    Attorneys for 38-year-old Kerry Lewis said the verdict exposed the organization’s “dark history with pedophiles and its unwillingness to come to terms with the problem.” They waved “perversion files“ around the courtroom – secret files kept by the Scouts docu- menting claims of se-xual abuse by troop leaders and volunteers over a 70 year-period."

    April 23, 2012 at 11:48 pm |
  12. vic

    Good priest who are guilty must be punished just like any one else , trial laweryrs i am sure preferred settlement . Good move church. Now you must counter sue for defamation, blackmail and extortion of the church. and cannon law has never trumped over civil laws

    April 23, 2012 at 11:01 pm |
    • sam stone

      Yeah, they will sue just like Sarah Palin threatened to.

      April 24, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
  13. joeytranchina

    I've seen 18 year old black kids sentenced to 20 years in prison for selling cocaine to adult buyers; these predatory priests should be looking an serious issues of prison time ·(measured in decades) while their purple-robed protectors deserved to be confined with them. Then the victims should be melting the moral authority of their church into ingots and carrying it away.

    The worst is that these hypocrites still tell their kneelers how to vote on other people's morals.
    As well as the depths of depravity, this Catholic Church represents the height of chutzpa.

    April 23, 2012 at 10:32 pm |
  14. Monsignor William Lynn

    Damn it! How am I going to blame the victim when the fricking priest plead guilty!

    April 23, 2012 at 10:08 pm |
    • Pope Benedict XVI

      Don't worry, Monsignor Lynn. We have it all figured out. Jesus came to me in a vision and told me to throw you under the bus and claim it was an isolated incident by bad apples. Sorry, but that's Jesus' orders, and I am of course infallible, so that's just the way it goes.

      April 24, 2012 at 1:08 am |
    • Matthew 7:17

      "Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit."...

      April 24, 2012 at 4:52 am |
  15. Destroy the lying skum

    Maybe we need to chase all these paedopriests with a big lynch mob and make them rush to confess and throw themselves on the mercy of our legal system instead of letting them leave the country like at least one priest has done to escape justice.

    Time to raid the Vatican, people. Time to bring the bigger fish to justice for crimes against humanity.

    April 23, 2012 at 9:50 pm |
Advertisement
About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.