Friday, August 5, 2011

Court sets competency hearing for Bevilacqua

By David O’Reilly

Cardinal Anthony J. Bevilacqua has been ordered to appear at a Sept. 12 hearing so a judge can determine if he is competent to testify in the conspiracy and child-endangerment trial of Msgr. William J. Lynn.
Common Pleas Court Judge M. Teresa Sarmina on Friday also set March 26 as the start of the landmark trial, which prosecutors said could last four months.
Lawyers for the 88-year-old former archbishop have said he suffers from prostate cancer and dementia and is not fit to give testimony.
Sarmina told them at Friday's hearing that she would decide Bevilacqua's fitness only after seeing him in person. She instructed them to "take the necessary medical steps" to bring the cardinal into court, and to provide his medical records from the last two years.
Lynn, 60, had served as Bevilacqua's secretary for clergy for nearly 12 years, during which time he recommended priests' assignments. He is charged with two felony counts of conspiracy to endanger the welfare of children in connection with the alleged sexual assaults of two boys by three priests in 1990s. Those men will be tried with him.
The monsignor is the highest-ranking member of a Roman Catholic diocese nationwide to stand trial for crimes related to clergy sex abuse
Full article at Philadelphia Inquirer

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