|After today's testimony I doubt there were any smiles around the defense table, on certainly not on Msgr Lynn's face.|
The following is an excerpt from the most recent post by Ralph Cipriano's coverage of the clerical abuse trial still underway in Philadelphia. It's powerful because it carries foundational truths. It involves the testimony of a nun who was sexually abused by one Father Cudemo, her uncle, who not only abused her, but other of her cousins and ten other female victims. The Archdiocese was first made aware of Cudemo's problems in 1966, but he was allowed to prey on children for another 25 years until something was finally done. As far as defendant Msgr Lynn is concerned, her testimony probably put the dagger in Lynn's Nuremberg style defense.
All along, the defense mantra has been that the monsignor was just a cog in the wheel down at archdiocese headquarters on 222 N. 17th St., and that the ultimate villain in the case was the guy who wielded the ultimate power in the archdiocese, the conveniently dead Cardinal Anthony J. Bevilacqua.
But the nun on the witness stand refused to play along.
It started when Thomas Bergstrom, a defense lawyer for Msgr. Lynn, tried to get the nun on cross-examination to agree that Msgr. Lynn did not have the power to remove from ministry a pastor who had sexually abused her and at least 10 other women.
"He [Lynn] had the power to suggest it," she said, referring to the removal of the pastor. And then on redirect, when the prosecutor asked her about the power Lynn had as the archdiocese's secretary for clergy, the nun said that Lynn had the simple power of just saying no.
Instead of going along with the power structure, the nun said, "You can also say, I cannot do this."
It was a simple, but powerful declaration coming from a nun who herself was an administrator down at archdiocese HQ, and also as a young woman, a victim of sex abuse from a pervert priest.
The nun, who did not want to be identified, wasn't finished.
"I would think that his [Lynn's] recommendation would be heard,"she told Assistant District Attorney Patrick Blessington. And if it wasn't, Lynn could have told the cardinal, "I cannot go on; if it isn't done that way, I can quit."
The nun's firm but understated conviction about the need to simply do what was right sent a ripple of excitement through courtroom spectators, which included victims of sex abuse, and activists hoping for the impossible, reform in the Roman Catholic Church. It also raised an age-old question, namely why do the women in the Catholic church usually have more balls than the men?
"why do the women in the Catholic Church usually have more balls than the men?" Maybe because it's been that way since Mary said yes, and Jesus looked down from His Cross and only one of his male 'apostles' could be found, and when He rose from the dead, there were only women. It's always been this way, but it can no longer stay this way. It's time more men found their balls---even the one's with collars.