THE ARCHDIOCESE of Philadelphia allowed a priest to remain in parish ministry in 1989 after psychiatrists diagnosed him as a pedophile, described him as "a very sick man" and strongly recommended that he never be allowed to work around young people, according to internal church records.
One of the doctors who evaluated the priest, the Rev. Peter J. Dunne, "stated quite bluntly that we are sitting on a powder keg," a church official later noted in a memo.
Dunne's records emerged Tuesday in the trial of Monsignor William J. Lynn, the former secretary of clergy accused of enabling child-sex abuse by failing to remove priests suspected of sexual misconduct. Prosecutors are introducing evidence about old allegations against Dunne and other priests to suggest that church officials for years understood the signs and depth of clergy sex abuse, but chose to hide the problem from parishioners, endangering children.