Monsignor William Lynn took the stand yesterday in his own defense in the landmark case against him in Philadelphia, in which he has been charged with child endangerment and conspiracy for allegedly failing to act in response to cases of alleged priest sex abuse of children. Lynn admitted that he knew there were "pretty sick individuals" on a list he complied in 1994 of priests suspected of sexually abusing children but he said that, "I felt I was helping priests and victims as best I could."
In earlier testimony, victims told the jury that they were abused by priests such as Edward Avery and Charles Engelhardt in Northeast Philadelphia. One of the victims told jurors that he did not feel Monsignor Lynn listened to his complaints. A grand jury alleged in its January 2011 report that Monsignor Lynn did not remove priests known to have abused children from ministry positions in which they had access to children. The report stated that Lynn "acted as if his job was to protect the abuser, never the abused."
Lynn is also accused of lying to parishioners about the reasons for the removal of priests suspected of abuse. In his testimony, Lynn argued that Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua, who died two months before the start of the trial, would not allow him to tell the truth. Lynn faces over 20 years in prison if convicted.
Media Resources: Washington Post 5/24/12; Huffington Post 5/24/12; Reuters 5/23/12; CNN 5/23/12; Feminist Daily News Wire 4/26/12
8/31/2015 Chicago Activists Continue Hunger Strike to Save Predominately Black Public High School - Chicago residents have entered the second week of their hunger strike protesting the closure of Dyett High School, in the predominately African-American Bronzeville neighborhood located on the South Side of Chicago.
Parents and community members are calling on the Chicago Board of Education to keep Dyett - the only open-enrollment, neighborhood school in its area - open and accept a community plan to revitalize the school with a focus on science and green technology. . . .
8/28/2015 Alaska Court Protects Abortion Access for Low-Income Women - The Alaska Superior Court struck down a state law yesterday that would have severely limited abortion access for low-income women in Alaska.
The state's Superior Court also struck down a Department of Health and Social Services regulation that placed narrow specifications on Medicaid coverage for abortions, requiring that Medicaid-funded abortions be determined by a physician to be "medically necessary." Last year, the Center for Reproductive Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Planned Parenthood sued on behalf of the Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest, claiming that the narrow definition of "medically necessary" arbitrarily established conditions designed to restrict the ability of low-income women to access abortion services.
The law was temporarily blocked last July by an Alaskan state court judge.
Superior Court Judge John Suddock ordered yesterday that the state be blocked from implementing this regulation, ruling that it placed an undue burden on low-income women seeking abortion services in Alaska.
"By providing health care to all poor Alaskans except women who need abortions, the challenged regulation violates the state constitutional guarantee of 'equal rights, opportunities, and protection under the law'," the ruling read.
"We applaud the superior court for striing down these cruel restrictions on women's health and rights that violate the Alaska Constitution," said Chris Charbonneau, CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands. . . .