New laws sought after sex scandal

As the Philadelphia Archdiocese placed the official at the heart of a lawsuit alleging a continued effort “to tolerate and actively conceal” sexual abuse of children on administrative leave, protesters gathered outside the Cathedral Basilica this weekend. They wanted to “express [their] revulsion and disgust with the criminal behavior of Catholic clergy.”

Charles McMahon, who sits on the steering committee of Voice of the Faithful of Greater Philadelphia, said state Rep. Louise Bishop will this week re-introduce a bill to eliminate the statute of limitations on future crimes, and state Rep. Mike McGeehan will introduce a separate bill to expand them. McGeehan’s legislation would call for a two-year ‘window of opportunity’ which would allow all childhood victims of sexual crimes to bring these predators to justice.

“It’s not going to be easy. [Elected officials] think Catholics don’t want to do this, and that Catholics vote,” he said yesterday. The protest “was just a first step.”

The arrest of Monsignor William J. Lynn was viewed as monumental in that he was charged with “purposely” shielding abusive priests in the late ‘90s. One activist said it was the first “enabling” charge in church sex-abuse scandal history.

Parishioners at Saint Joseph Parish in Downingtown were informed Sunday that Lynn had been replaced as their pastor.

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