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Memos show Philadelphia parish misled about pastor's "health leave" for sex therapy

Monsignor William Lynn leaves the Criminal Justice Center, Monday, March 26, 2012, in Philadelphia. Lynn is the first Roman Catholic church official in the U.S. ever charged with child endangerment, for allegedly keeping co-defendants former priest Edward V. Avery and the Rev. James J. Brennan, and other accused predators, in ministry. AP Photo/Matt Rourke

Monsignor William Lynn leaves the Criminal Justice Center, Monday, March 26, 2012, in Philadelphia.
AP Photo/Matt Rourke

(CBS/AP) PHILADELPHIA - Prosecutors in Philadelphia are showing jurors memos to try to prove the Philadelphia archdiocese covered up complaints that priests were molesting children.

Monsignor William Lynn is the first Roman Catholic church supervisor in the U.S. charged with endangering children by keeping accused priests in ministry.

Letters read in court Tuesday show Lynn telling a parish that accused pastor Edward Avery was on a "health leave" in 1993, when Avery was undergoing sex therapy treatment at a Catholic hospital.

The letters also reveal a church policy not to act on complaints unless a priest was diagnosed as a pedophile.

Avery pleaded guilty Thursday to sexually assaulting a 10-year-old altar boy in 1999.

The Rev. James Brennan is on trial with Lynn, charged with trying to rape a 14-year-old boy in 1996.

More on Crimesider:
March 23, 2012 - In surprise move, Philly priest pleads guilty in sex abuse case

  • Crimesider Staff

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