Religion News Service reports that Monsignor William J. Lynn, the secretary for clergy at the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and the first U.S. Catholic official convicted of covering up the sexual abuse of children, has been sentenced to 3-6 years on jail after his conviction June 22. David Gibson writes:

Lynn was the first church official to be tried for what many see as an unaddressed crime in the decades-long tally of abuse throughout the church: No U.S. bishops or officials who covered up and enabled the abuse had previously been held accountable in criminal court.

He was charged with recommending that James J. Brennan and another former priest, Edward Avery, be allowed to live or work in parishes in the 1990s despite indications that they might abuse children. Avery later sexually assaulted a 10-year-old altar boy. He pleaded guilty before the trial and is serving up to five years in state prison.

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