A retired Philadelphia Catholic Cardinal will not have to testify at a priest-abuse trial.
Judge M. Teresa Sarmina says 92-year-old retired Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua may not have to come to court, but would likely testify via videotaped deposition. His lawyers say Bevilacqua suffers from cancer and dementia. The judge says she thinks Bevilacqua would be up to the questioning, despite his ill health–though she did not give a final pronouncement that would compel his testimony. Prosecutors want to preserve Bevilacqua’s account in case he can’t attend a March trial. Monsignor William Lynn is charged with child endangerment and conspiracy for allegedly transferring pedophile priests. At the time, Lynn was a high-ranking diocese official. Lawyers for Lynn say he was acting on orders from Bevilacqua, whom he served from 1992 to 2004.Lynn’s trial is connected to rape charges against two priests, a defrocked priest, and a former Catholic school teacher.