As part of the criminal case against Msgr. William Lynn, of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, the District Attorney’s Office filed with the Court of Common Pleas Cardinal Anthony J. Bevilacqua’s previously secret testimony before a grand jury investigating sexual abuse. The Inquirer obtained a copy of the testimony after it was filed with the court. The judge in the case, Lillian Harris Ransom, has subsequently ordered the record sealed.
Bevilacqua testified 10 times over nine months in 2003 and 2004. The grand jury issued a report in 2005 concluding that Bevilacuqa had been “untruthful” and had “excused and enabled” abusive priests. The cardinal was not charged with any crime, as prosecutors were barred by the statute of limitations.
Bevilacqua denied that he protected priests at children’s expense. His lawyers called prosecutors “anti-Catholic” for investigating the church and complained that they were disrespectful to the cardinal during his testimony.