A: In all likelihood, the Archdiocese will be held liable for abuse by certain priests who were known to engage in such horrific acts or those who were reasonably suspected of it.
The Philadelphia Archdiocese’s Civil Liability for Priest Abuse Will be Based on Who Knew What and When
Each case will depend on the statute of limitations and when the abuse occurred. However assuming there are no limitations issues, the key in the civil cases is evidence that the Archdiocese knew that a given priest was a pedophile, yet still allowed the priest to come into contact with children. In other words, the entire case will hinge on what members of the Archdiocese knew, when they learned of it, and what it did in response.
The criminal trial involving Monsignor Lynn, Avery and Brennan has revealed that Lynn investigated over 30 priests for suspected sexual abuse. Avery and Brennan, despite having been accused of molesting children, were reassigned to unsuspecting parishes throughout the Philadelphia area.
Whether Lynn or Cardinal Bevilacqua was the mastermind will not make a difference. Both were agents, servants and/or employees of the Archdiocese, and as such, their actions and inactions will probably lead to civil liability for failure to protect innocent boys from the pedophiles within the Archdiocese.
Related Legal Articles:
- What to Expect in Priest/Clergy Sexual Abuse Civil Lawsuits in Pennsylvania or New Jersey
- Pennsylvania Priest Sex Abuse Law: The Fraudulent Concealment Exception to the Statute of Limitations
- Pennsylvania Child Sex Abuse Law: The Statute of Limitations
To submit your case for review by our Pennsylvania and New Jersey priest sex abuse civil lawyers, call Click To Call. Our lawyers are available for a free, no obligation legal consultation.
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Published: June 20, 2012