Lawyers: Gov't Hanging Pa. Church Abuse On 1 Man

Published January 24, 2012 7:18PM (EST)

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Lawyers for a Catholic Church official say prosecutors are trying to hold him alone responsible for the priest abuse scandal in Philadelphia.

Prosecutors want to include accusations against dozens of priests when Monsignor William Lynn goes on trial in March on child endangerment and conspiracy charges.

Lynn served as secretary of clergy for the archdiocese from 1992 to 2004. Many of the accusations are decades old.

Prosecutors say Lynn kept priests on the job despite explosive allegations in secret church files.

Lawyers said Tuesday that Lynn followed orders from Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua (beh-vih-LAH'-kwah) and his bishops. They say prosecutors should have indicted the archdiocese and other church leaders to make their case.

Prosecutors call the archdiocese "an unindicted co-conspirator."

A judge is hearing pretrial arguments on the evidence this week.

By Salon Staff

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