Canon law expert: Church could have probed abuse reports

    An expert on Roman Catholic church law is testifying in the trial of a Philadelphia monsignor charged with endangering children during the priest-abuse scandal.

    The Rev. Thomas Doyle says nothing in church or “canon” law prevents church officials from fully investigating complaints, removing priests from their jobs during investigations, and contacting civil authorities.
    Philadelphia prosecutors say Monsignor William Lynn conspired with abusers and other church officials to keep church members and police in the dark about scores of complaints reported to the Archdiocese of Philadelphia since about 1950.

    Lynn could spend years in prison if convicted of conspiracy and child endangerment. He is the first Catholic church official in the U.S. charged for his administrative response to abuse complaints.

    The trial is expected to last several months.

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