Pa. Priest Case Points Up Conscience vs. Obedience

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- The criminal conviction of a senior Roman Catholic church official has sparked debate about when to follow orders in an institution and when to fight them.

Monsignor William Lynn is in custody after being convicted Friday of child endangerment for his handling of clergy abuse complaints in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

Lynn says he was following orders from the cardinal when he lied about why accused priests were removed from their jobs. He says he couldn't stop the transfers of priests to new parishes.

The 61-year-old Lynn faces up to seven years in prison. No sentencing date has been set.

Nick Ingala is a spokesman for the Boston-based lay Catholic group Voice of the Faithful. He says Lynn shouldn't have been on trial alone. He says church leaders have abandoned their moral duty to share in the blame.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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