The highest ranking cleric charged in a Philadelphia child abuse scandal asked a judge on Friday to dismiss his case because his boss - the late Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua - ordered the shredding of a list he made of predator priests.
The real criminals, the lawyers argued in court documents, were Bevilacqua, who died last month, and his closest advisors. These included Lynn's former supervisor Monsignor James Molloy, who died in 2006, now retired Bishop Edward Cullen of Allentown and Bishop Joseph Cistone, now head of the diocese in Saginaw, Michigan, none of whom were charged in the case.
As clergy secretary, Lynn on his own initiative reviewed secret church archives and created a list of 35 priests who had been involved in abusive conduct or were classified with a sexual disorder, Lynn's lawyers said in court documents. He culled the names from a list of 323 priests in the church's "secret archives," the court documents said.