Attorneys for a Philadelphia monsignor accused of enabling priests to molest altar boys has asked the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to review the charges, an unusual legal maneuver that could scuttle or delay the trial, reports the Philadelphia Inquirer. Attorneys for Msgr. William J. Lynn urged the court to step in before Lynn and other priests begin their trial in March.
The lawyers contend that prosecutors misapplied the law when they charged Lynn with endangering children. They also say the outcome of his case will be far-reaching, because Lynn, 61, was the first church official nationwide to be charged with covering up clergy sex abuse. “The continuation of this criminal prosecution will have grave and immediate public implications,” wrote the attorneys, who are being paid by the archdiocese. “It is impossible to predict how many practicing Catholics and members of the Catholic clergy will be affected by this trial.” The lawyers are being paid by the archdiocese.