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Monsignor: Cardinal wanted accusers kept in dark
Accused Philadelphia monsignor says cardinal didn't want accusers to know of other complaints
By The Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA (AP) ' A Roman Catholic church official taking the stand in his own defense says Philadelphia's ex-archbishop ordered staff to keep alleged victims of priest sexual abuse in the dark about other accusers.

Monsignor William Lynn also says the late Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua wouldn't let parishes announce the real reason an accused priest was being removed.

There's been testimony that parishioners were often told their priest had health problems when he left for sex-offender treatment. Lynn says that "mental health" can be a health condition.

That led Assistant District Attorney Patrick Blessington to ask if Lynn remembers the religious teaching on sins of omission.

Lynn, the former secretary for clergy, is enduring a blistering cross-examination as he fights child-endangerment and conspiracy charges over his handling of complaints that priests were molesting children.

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