Sex abuse trial opens for archdiocese official, priest

By Sarah Hoye, CNN

Philadelphia (CNN) - Opening arguments started Monday in the first case in which a Roman Catholic archdiocese official is accused of covering up evidence of suspected sexual abuse of children.

Monsignor William Lynn and the Rev. James Brennan appeared before Common Pleas Judge Teresa Sarmina inside a nearly filled Philadelphia courtroom. The attendees had to pass through a metal detector and surrender all electronic devices before entering the courtroom.

Commonwealth prosecutor Jacqueline Coelho told jurors in her nearly hour-long opening statement that Lynn's role was to protect priests, the church and privacy "at any cost."

Lynn, dressed in all black and wearing a priest collar, listened intently as Coelho argued that he knowingly covered up incidents of sexual abuse, including alleged acts by Brennan, and "ignored common sense and placed children at risk."

Read the original article at CNN Belief Blog  2012-03-27 »

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