PHILADELPHIA – A Philadelphia judge says a Roman Catholic church official should have stood up to his bishop rather than let children suffer at the hands of pedophile priests.
Monsignor William Lynn is the first U.S. church official convicted in the church sex-abuse scandal.
The 61-year-old Lynn has been given a three- to six-year prison term for felony child endangerment.
Common Pleas Judge Teresa Sarmina says Lynn "enabled monsters in clerical garb ... to destroy the souls of children."
Defense lawyers want Lynn released on bail while they appeal the conviction. A hearing is set for Aug. 6.
Victim advocates, including Terry McKiernan of BishopAccountability.org, call the sentence a wake-up call for church leaders "to do the right thing."