Defense: Monsignor not liable for sins of church

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Jurors are hearing closing arguments in a landmark priest-abuse case in Philadelphia.

Monsignor William Lynn is on trial for allegedly endangering children as secretary for clergy from 1992 to 2004.

Prosecutors say pedophile Roman Catholic priests were shuffled from parish to parish.

In court on Thursday, Lynn's attorney said the weekslong trial has shown the jury the dark side of the church and the evil acts committed by rogue priests.

But lawyer Thomas Bergstrom says his client should not be held responsible for sins of the church. He says Lynn alone tried to document the abuse and have the cardinal address it.

The 61-year-old Lynn is the first U.S. church official charged over his handling of priest-abuse complaints. He faces up to 21 years in prison if convicted.

Associated Press
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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