Priest-abuse files kept behind lock, key, alarm

    Evidence in a groundbreaking priest-abuse trial shows the men running the Philadelphia archdiocese used byzantine methods to keep child sex-abuse complaints from prying eyes.

    Memos unearthed from long-secret archives show the complaints were not just under lock and key — but protected by locks, keys, alarms, safes, computer passwords and other measures.
    One 1994 list shown to jurors Wednesday lists three diagnosed pedophile priests and 13 more deemed “guilty” of abuse, often because they had admitted it.

    Yet most remained active priests until the “zero tolerance” policy adopted by U.S. bishops in 2002. And some remained priests years later.

    Monsignor William Lynn created the list. He was secretary for clergy from 1992 to 2004.

    Lynn is now on trial on child endangerment and conspiracy charges, for allegedly helping keep known abusers in ministry.

    Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

    It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.