Following Monday’s halt of the release of 1,200 pages of Cardinal Anthony J. Bevilacqua’s secret testimony relating to his handling of priest sex-abuse complaints, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priest (SNAP) are questioning claims that the former Philadelphia archbishop is too sick to face prosecution.
On Tuesday, SNAP released this statement regarding the testimony blocking:
“Time and time again, Catholic officials claim to be “open” about horrific clergy sex crimes and cover ups. Yet in court, they fight tooth and nail to keep their documents and depositions hidden.
Every time a judge is tempted to side with secrecy over transparency in cases like this, we hope they will remember that secrecy is a child predator’s best ally.
Dozens and dozens of pedophile Catholic priests and complicit church officials have pretended to be ill and infirmed when confronted with the possibility of criminal prosecution or tough questioning. Until church lawyers produce evidence of Bevilacqua’s alleged memory difficulties, from an independent physician chosen by prosecutors, we will continue to doubt his lawyers’ claims about his health.”
According to the grand jury, 88-year-old Bevilacqua suffers from both cancer and dementia and they cannot prosecute – at least not right now.
Bevilacqua's testimony was made in 2003 and supported conspriracy charges filed this year against high-ranking chruch official Monsignor William Lynn.
Lynn is charged with conspiracy and child endangerment. He served as secretary for clergy from '92 until '04 under Belvilacqua.