Including laity as well, if they helped with the cover-up.
A monsignor who oversaw hundreds of priests in the Philadelphia Archdiocese was
found guilty on Friday of one count of endangering the welfare of a child,
making him the first senior U.S. Roman Catholic Church official to be convicted for covering up child sex abuse.
Lynn was accused of what prosecutors said was an effort to cover up child sex
abuse allegations, often by transferring priests to unsuspecting parishes.
Lynn's trial was noteworthy because of its focus on the role of a church
official accused not of molestation but of covering it up. It raises questions
of personal responsibility and how far someone such as Lynn could or should have
stepped outside the rigors of the church hierarchy and whether strict obedience
to church elders is defensible, experts said.
A priest takes a vow of obedience at his ordination to his Bishop and his Bishop's successors. But a priest should always remember that he ultimately he must answer to God. A priest once told me that he liked the fact that his was a job where he did not have to face layoffs. I would hope that no priest would exchange such security in compromise of their conscience, even if it did mean running afoul of their Bishop.
I admit, I would not be displeased to see bigger fish caught and convicted for cover-up, i.e., certain bishops and cardinals.