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NEWS
June 5, 2012 | By Darran Simon and David O'Reilly, Inquirer Staff Writers
Pope Benedict XVI announced Sunday that Philadelphia will hold World Family Day in 2015, an event likely to draw hundreds of thousands of visitors that some observers are calling a sign of papal support for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia as it struggles with a bruising clergy sex-abuse scandal. Benedict's presence - which would be the first papal visit to Philadelphia since John Paul II's phenomenally popular outdoor Mass on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway in October 1979 attracted one million people - could also serve as a much-needed energizer for Catholics, some said.
NEWS
June 4, 2012 | By John P. Martin, Inquirer Staff Writer
Barely four minutes into his closing argument Thursday, defense lawyer Thomas Bergstrom uttered two words that seemed woven into the daily script of the clergy sex-abuse trial: "The cardinal. " Bergstrom went on to mention the cardinal - former Philadelphia Archbishop Anthony J. Bevilacqua - at least 18 more times in an hour. Some were passing references, but all were part of a bid to convince jurors that his client, Msgr. William J. Lynn, had the will but not the power to remove abusive priests.
NEWS
May 31, 2012 | By John P. Martin and INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Prosecutors and defense lawyers in the clergy sex-abuse trial met privately with the judge Wednesday before dispersing to prepare for their closing arguments. The summations, scheduled to begin Thursday morning, will cap a landmark 11-week trial that has included more than 60 witnesses and the introduction of nearly 2,000 documents, many culled from secret church archives on priest misconduct. Jurors could get the case as early as Friday. A day after testimony ended, Common Pleas Court Judge M. Teresa Sarmina summoned the lawyers to a back room to discuss the instructions she will give the jury before it begins deliberating the case against Msgr.
NEWS
May 31, 2012 | By John P. Martin and Joseph A. Slobodzian, Inquirer Staff Writers
The defense in the clergy sex-abuse trial rested Tuesday after Msgr. William J. Lynn ended three days' contentious testimony the way he began - asserting he had done his best to protect children but had lacked the power to do more. "I did much more than had been done before I got there," Lynn said, later adding: "I have many victims that told me I helped them. " After the former Archdiocese of Philadelphia clergy secretary left the witness stand, the landmark trial moved briskly toward a conclusion.
NEWS
May 30, 2012 | By John P. Martin and Joseph A. Slobodzian and INQUIRER STAFF WRITERS
The defense in the landmark clergy sex-abuse trial rested Tuesday after Msgr. William J. Lynn ended three days of contentious testimony the way he started it — asserting he did his best to protect children but lacked the power to do more. "I did much more than had been done before I got there," Lynn said, later adding: "I have many victims that told me I helped them. " After the former Archdiocese of Philadelphia clergy secretary left the stand, the landmark trial moved briskly toward a conclusion.
NEWS
May 24, 2012 | By John P. Martin and Joseph A. Slobodzian, Inquirer Staff Writers
One priest said Msgr. William J. Lynn treated victims of clergy sex abuse with compassion. Another testified that Lynn pressed accused priests to enter treatment, and urged his bosses to order hospitalization for any who resisted. A third noted that even regional vicars had more power than the secretary for clergy. The priests took the stand Tuesday as the first witnesses called by the defense in the landmark clergy sex-abuse trial against Lynn, the former clergy secretary for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.
NEWS
May 23, 2012 | By John P. Martin
One priest said Msgr. William J. Lynn treated victims of clergy sex abuse with compassion. Another testified that Lynn pressed accused priests to enter treatment, and urged his bosses to order hospitalization for any who resisted. A third noted that even regional vicars had more power than the secretary for clergy. The priests took the stand Tuesday as the first witnesses called by the defense in the landmark clergy sex-abuse trial against Lynn, the former clergy secretary for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.
NEWS
May 21, 2012 | By John P. Martin, Inquirer Staff Writer
The charges against Msgr. William J. Lynn are narrow: that the former Archdiocese of Philadelphia official endangered children by letting two priests live or work in parishes despite signs they might abuse minors. But the case prosecutors finished presenting Thursday stretched beyond those confines. Day after day in Courtroom 304 of the city's Criminal Justice Center, the church itself seemed to be on trial. Over eight weeks, jurors saw a parade of witnesses and close to 2,000 documents, some decades old, that detailed what bishops, pastors priests, and church officials knew and did about Philadelphia-area priests suspected of abusing children.
NEWS
May 19, 2012 | By John P. Martin and Joseph A. Slobodzian, Inquirer Staff Writers
After calling nearly 50 witnesses and presenting close to 1,900 documents over eight weeks, prosecutors on Thursday rested their case in the landmark trial involving child sex abuse by Archdiocese of Philadelphia priests. The team of district attorneys ended by letting jurors handle what they contend is the closest thing to a smoking gun in the case: a tattered gray folder that had been hidden in a locked safe at archdiocesan offices for more than a decade. Inside were handwritten and typed records, including a list that Msgr.
NEWS
May 12, 2012 | By John P. Martin, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
A few months after she started as operations director for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia's clergy office in 2005, Louise Sullivan was given a task: Straighten up the file room. The exhaustive grand-jury investigation into alleged sex abuse by priests was over, and the 10th-floor room at the archdiocese's 17th Street headquarters was a mess. Cardboard boxes, files, and papers cluttered the floor. Atop one corner cabinet, Sullivan noticed a small, locked combination safe.
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