Beginning March 26, 2012 in the Criminal Justice Center in Philadelphia, the trial of Msgr. William J. Lynn marks the first time a Catholic Archdiocese official has been criminally prosecuted on charges of child endangerment and conspiracy. Lynn, a senior official of the Philadelphia Archdiocese, stands accused of attempting to protect the church by covering up years of allegations of sexual abuse and misconduct. The prosecution has drawn international media attention, and the trial is expected to take several weeks.
Ralph Cipriano is the featured writer for the Philadelphia Priest Abuse Trial Blog. Cipriano covered religion for the Philadelphia Inquirer in the early 1990s, and as a freelancer for the National Catholic Reporter. In his investigative journalism work, Cipriano examined secrecy and lavish spending under the late Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua, as well as the findings of the grand jury that investigated sex abuse in the archdiocese. Cipriano is a credentialed member of the press reporting on the Lynn trial.
His work has been recognized by the Catholic Press Association of the United States and Canada, which includes The Catholic Standard & Times, the official newspaper of the archdiocese of Philadelphia. In 1999, the Catholic Press Association awarded a First Place for Investigative Reporting for Lavish Spending in Archdiocese Skips Inner City, published June 19, 1998 in National Catholic Reporter. In 2006, the Catholic Press Association awarded a First Place for Best News Writing for a national event for Grand Jury Findings, published on Oct. 7, 2005 under the headline:“Philadelphia cardinals ‘excused and enabled abuse, covered up crimes.’ " The Philadelphia Priest Abuse Trial Blog has already garnered praise from sexual abuse victims advocates and others who cover clergy abuse.
In addition to Cipriano's reporting from the trial, Max Kennerly of The Beasley Firm will provide legal background and analysis for the Philadelphia Priest Abuse Trial Blog. Kennerly, whose law practice focuses on personal injury and malpractice litigation, was recently selected as one of Pennsylvania’s forty best lawyers under the age of forty. Kennerly also writes about the law on his own blog, Litigation and Trial, which has been cited as a legal authority by sources as diverse as Vanity Fair and Business Insider.
Since 1958 The Beasley Firm injury lawyers have fought for the rights of injured persons. Focusing on personal injury, medical malpractice, and wrongful death lawsuits, The Beasley Firm has recovered billions of dollars in awards for their clients. The Beasley Firm has a history assisting the victims of sexual abuse. Jim Beasley, Sr., represented the plaintiff in Greenberg v. McCabe, which resulted in an important court opinion — an opinion that has been cited by nearly one-hundred other courts — recognizing the unique circumstances of sexual abuse and the need to have a jury evaluate when the statute of limitations starts to run for such victims.