Archdiocese: Monsignor's sentence too long

July 25, 2012 at 12:49 AM

PHILADELPHIA, July 25 (UPI) -- The Archdiocese of Philadelphia suggested Tuesday that its former secretary for clergy was given an overly harsh sentence for enabling clerical sexual abuse.

The Catholic leadership reacted after Lynn was sentenced, saying the church has learned from the sex abuse scandal and the "public humiliation" it has endured.

"Since the events some 10 years ago that were at the center of this trial, the archdiocese has changed," the statement said. "We have taken dramatic steps to ensure that all young people in our care are safe, and these efforts will continue even more forcefully now and in the years ahead."

Lynn, the first church official to be tried for allowing priests suspected of pedophilia to continue in ministry where they had access to children, was found guilty after a lengthy trial.

"Fair-minded people will question the severity of the heavy, three to six year sentence imposed on Msgr. Lynn today," the archdiocese said. "We hope that when this punishment is objectively reviewed, it will be adjusted."

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