"This is a painful time," Marino told the large, crowded church at the beginning of his homily.
Lynn, who has pleaded not guilty to two felony counts of endangering the welfare of a child, will be spending some time away from the parish, Marino told parishioners. He did not say when or whether Lynn would return.
"I ask for your continued prayers for Msgr. Lynn and for all involved and for you to continue to pray, in a special way, for all the victims of abuse," Marino said.
At his arrest by Philadelphia police, Lynn became the first supervisor in the Roman Catholic Church nationwide to be charged with covering up the sexual abuse of minors, authorities said.
According to the grand jury report, Lynn, as secretary of clergy for the archdiocese, had consistently protected accused priests, concealed their crimes from the public and police, and placed pedophile priests in positions in which they could harm more children.
"I loved him as a monsignor," said Eden, 65, shivering in the cold before the Mass. "This is terrible, disturbing - an embarrassment."
Five years ago, Lynn addressed his congregation directly after a grand-jury report issued back then blasted him for shuffling predator priests during his time in the administrative offices, from 1992 to 2004, when he was transferred to St. Joseph Church.
He would "never put a child in harm's way," Lynn told parishioners then. And they stood and applauded him.
Lynn and other church officials were not indicted in 2005 because the statute of limitations on the crimes had expired, authorities said. New allegations led to his arrest, last week's report said. Under the "direction" and "knowledge" of Cardinal Anthony J. Bevilacqua, Lynn sought to protect the wealth and status of the archdiocese while showing an indifference to the safety of children, the report said. He even wrote letters of recommendation for a priest accused of raping a child, the report said.
Still, in the cold before Saturday evening Mass, many parishioners offered words of support for the disgraced priest.
Those parishioners described Lynn as "wonderful," "gentle," and "kind," but did not want their names attached to their praise.
At the request of the archdiocese, representatives from a local crime victims' center passed out literature at the back of the church. An archdiocesan spokesman was also at the Mass, but did not offer comment.
Earlier in the day, Rigali had posted a statement on the archdiocese website. It was not an apology but rather a spiritual message for Catholics who, "for one reason or another, may feel distanced from the church" after the arrests of Lynn, and of three other priests and a lay teacher who were charged with rape.
Mary Lou, a St. Joseph parishioner for 34 years, did not read the statement but counted herself among the spiritually conflicted in this latest chapter of the sexual scandal that has rocked the Catholic Church for a decade.
"I have to look beyond the man because my faith is in God, not him," she said.
In his homily, Marino spoke of the humanness of priests. "My simple, fragile hands" offer you the body of Christ, he said.
"Ministers are not perfect," he said. "But they do represent Jesus, and we expect them to hold a higher moral plane."
In the pews, Eden reflected on the priest's words. Priests are held to a higher level of accountability, she agreed afterward.
"And if they are guilty of a crime, they should be punished for it."
Contact staff writer Mike Newall
at 856-779-3237 or firstname.lastname@example.org.