Testimony begins in Pa. trial of Catholic priests



PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Testimony has begun in a landmark trial that explores how the Catholic Archdiocese of Philadelphia handled sex-abuse complaints.

Prosecutors have charged Monsignor William Lynn with endangering children by leaving predator priests in ministry. Lynn is the first U.S. church official charged for his administrative actions in the scandal.

A witness Monday read a 1992 memo from a priest telling Lynn that he might have gotten drunk and sexually molested a young man. The priest was sent to therapy for months before returning to the ministry. Now defrocked and a co-defendant in the case, the former priest, Edward Avery, has pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting an altar boy.

The defense says Lynn had the job of overseeing sex abuse complaints but the cardinal alone determined priest assignments.