Judge to decide if Cardinal Bevilacqua is too sick to testify about priest sexual abuse

The lawyer for a former Philadelphia Catholic archbishop wants his client to testify at home about allegations of sex abuse by priests instead of appearing in court next month.  The request comes because 88-year-old Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua is in poor health.Attorney Daniel Monahan has helped file half a dozen lawsuits against the Archdiocese of Philadelphia on behalf of survivors of clergy abuse.  He called Bevilacqua’s attorney’s request, “just another example of the church’s continued unwillingness to open this process to the light of day and I agree with the prosecutors and the judge who ruled that they want to see proof that he’s unable — for the judge to in fact make a decision that he is too sick to present testimony,” said Monahan.  “I think we can’t take the word of his attorneys on that.”Five defendants–a monsignor, three priests and a parochial school teacher–are accused of abusing kids or failing to prevent abuse by others.Monsignor William Lynn, who was secretary for clergy under Bevilacqua, is charged with child endangerment and conspiracy for helping transfer priests accused of sexual abuse to new parishes.  A Sept. 12 hearing is scheduled to determine if Bevilacqua is fit to testify.

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