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Defense: Monsignor 'won't run' from church abuse

Defense: Philadelphia monsignor 'won't run' from church sex-abuse problem, tried to correct it By The Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA (AP) ' A lawyer for a high-ranking Catholic monsignor on trial in Philadelphia says his client won't run from the church's sex abuse crisis.

The defense says Monday that Monsignor William Lynn is perhaps the only person in the Philadelphia archdiocese who tried to address it.

Lynn supervised more than 800 priests as the longtime secretary for clergy. He's the first U.S. church official ever charged over his handling of abuse complaints.

Prosecutors say Lynn helped the church cover up the abuse complaints and endangered children by keeping dangerous priests in ministry.

The 61-year-old Lynn pleaded not guilty when the trial opened Monday. So did the Rev. James Brennan, a co-defendant charged with attempted rape.

Defrocked priest Edward Avery pleaded guilty Thursday to sexually abusing a 10-year-old altar boy in 1999.

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