Word that Pope Francis will visit Philadelphia’s Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility when he is in the city Sept. 26-27 for the World Meeting of Families must have held special significance for one of the 2,760 men in the city’s largest jail. He’s No. 1102886, also known as Msgr. William J. Lynn, the 64-year-old former Secretary for Clergy of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Philadelphia. Lynn was the first church official convicted for a supervisory role over priests accused of having sexually abused children. Lynn’s conviction was a landmark in the church’s clergy sex-abuse scandal and his appeal of his child endangerment conviction has been a legal roller coaster. Found guilty by a Philadelphia jury in 2012, he was sentenced that July to 3 to 6 years in prison by Common Pleas Court Judge M. Teresa Sarmina and immediately incarcerated in a state prison. Eighteen months later, Lynn was released on house arrest in a Northeast Philadelphia rectory after the state Superior Court reversed his conviction and vacated his sentence. But the District Attorney’s office then appealed to the state Supreme Court and in April, the state’s high court reinstated Lynn conviction and on April 30, Sarmina ordered Lynn back to prison to continue serving his term. Although Lynn’s lawyers expected him to go back to the state prison at Waymart in Northeastern Pennsylvania, he was taken first to Curran-Fromhold and there he has remained as his lawyers try to convince the Superior Court that the conviction may still be challenged on other grounds.
Pope will visit Philadelphia prison housing a convicted priest
Deacon Greg Kandra - published on 07/01/15
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