There are many questions and issues surrounding the high-profile Philadelphia grand jury report (of February 2011) and the ensuing criminal cases.
Is justice being served in Philadelphia? Have Catholic clergy been falsely accused? Dubious prosecutorial actions and unseemly alliances suggest that the Catholic Church is not getting honest justice and equitable scrutiny under the law in Philadelphia.
Below are some quick facts about the Philadelphia clergy criminal cases. The upcoming court dates actually entail three different cases.
Case #1: One man has accused three different men (current priest Rev. Charles Engelhardt, former priest Edward Avery, and former teacher Bernard Shero) of abusing him years ago. The accuser is an admitted heroin user. Although the Philadelphia review board has aggressively removed several priests over the years on abuse allegations, the panel did not believe this accuser when it reviewed his case a few years ago. All three men vehemently deny the charges against them.
Case #2: Another man has accused Rev. James Brennan of raping him years ago. Fr. Brennan has forcefully proclaimed his innocence. This accuser has a lengthy criminal record wrought with fraud and deceit. For example, he:
• has multiple aliases;
• has two fraud-related criminal convictions; and
• has been jailed on theft and forgery charges.
The accuser's history also includes a disturbing 2005 incident in which he filed a false police report and fabricated the tale of a violent home robbery. (See TheMediaReport.com Special Report, "Philadelphia Abuse Accuser Has Extensive Criminal Record of Fraud and Filing False Police Reports")
Case #3: The Philadelphia District Attorney's office has charged Msgr. William Lynn for conspiracy – that he deliberately conspired for these men to abuse young boys. It is a wild charge indeed.
Recommended reading for the 2011-2012 Philadelphia criminal clergy abuses cases:
- Blatant Injustice In Philadelphia: Judge Declares Abuse in Church ‘Widespread’; Bevilacqua was ‘Competent’ for Questioning
- Evidence of Collaboration between the Philadelphia D.A.'s Office and SNAP
- Who Is Prosecutor Mariana Sorensen?
- Unfair in Philadelphia? A Closer Look at the 2011 Philly Grand Jury Report
- Extra: The Archdiocese of Philadelphia replies to the 2005 grand jury report: Charges of "cover-ups" and "concealment" are "categorically false"
[For TheMediaReport.com's complete coverage of the Philadelphia cases, click here.]