Archdiocese Safe Contained List of Suspected Priests - FOX 29 News Philadelphia | WTXF-TV

Archdiocese Safe Contained List of Suspected Priests

Posted: Updated: May 14, 2012
PHILADELPHIA -

A lawyer in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia testified on Monday that he was lied to about the location of an elusive list consisting of 35 priests accused of sexually abusing minors.

Timothy Coyne, former director of legal services in the archdiocese, told the jury about his investigation into the whereabouts of this list. He sent multiple faxes to high-ranking priests, including Monsignor Lynn. He had been looking for the list in 2004.

"Everyone I spoke to said they didn't know where it was," he said. "Somebody, or a lot of people, lied to me."

Two safes were uncovered in the archdiocese headquarters. One safe was drilled open by a locksmith; unveiling a folder with a memo ordering the shredding of a list of 35 priests accused or found guilty of sexual misconduct. The list itself and other documents were found along with the memo.

The director of operations for the office of clergy at the archdiocese discovered the safe in early 2006 during a file clean-up. Louise Sullivan said she took an accordion-style folder recovered from the safe, and placed it in then-assistant vicar for Clergy Rev. James Oliver's office.

Oliver testified Monday that he did not recall the file in his office.

The courtroom turned into a blame-game on Monday as witnesses failed to recollect exactly where the memo and list were located, and how they came in contact with them.

It is unknown who placed the memo and the list in the safe, however Lynn's fate will rest on whether the jury believes the list he compiled proves he shuffled suspecting priests to different parishes.

The defense claims he alerted his superiors, including the late Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua, that multiple priests were molesting children.

Lynn is the first Roman Catholic Church official to be criminally charged for endangering the welfare of a child. Lynn stands on trial with Rev. James Brennan, who is accused of sexually assaulting a 14-year-old boy in 1996. Both men have pleaded not guilty.

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