The celebrated Catholic leader who died last month destroyed, back in 1994, a list of priests who had been the subject of accusations of sexual abuse but were still active in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, according to testimony by another priest on trial for failing to protect children from predator priests.
A memo filed by defense attorneys representing Monsignor William Lynn on Friday said that Lynn created a list of 35 priests who had been accused of sexual abuse, but his superior, the late Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua shredded it. Another copy of the list was found in 2006 in a locked safe at the archdiocese.
Lynn is accused of keeping predator priests in ministry and transferring them from parish to parish, the first church official in the U.S. charged for administrative action, or lack thereof. Jury selection is under way, with testimony scheduled to start March 26. A priest and an ex-priest charged with rape are on trial with him, and they also maintain their innocence. Lynn is seeking to have his child endangerment case dismissed because of new evidence turned over by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, including his list of 35 accused priests.
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