Jurors hear church files on a priest’s abuse

PHILADELPHIA - A series of confidential memos outlining allegations of sexual abuse against a now-defrocked priest were read to jurors Tuesday in the landmark clergy abuse trial underway in Philadelphia.

The memos describe how the archdiocese handled the allegations lodged in the 1990s against the Rev. Stanley Gana. Prosecutors are trying to show that the archdiocese did not do enough to protect children from Gana after the charges arose.


Monsignor William Lynn, 61, supervised more than 800 priests as the secretary for clergy in Philadelphia from 1992 to 2004. He is the first US church official charged over his handling of abuse complaints.

Prosecutors charge that he kept dangerous priests in parish work around children, in an effort to protect the church’s reputation and avoid scandal. He faces up to 28 years in prison if convicted of conspiracy and child endangerment.

Get Ground Game in your inbox:
Daily updates and analysis on national politics from James Pindell.
Thank you for signing up! Sign up for more newsletters here

A detective read the jurors confidential memos and other documents about Gana that dated back to 1992. The documents include reports made to the church by several young men who said they were molested by Gana for years as adolescents.

Jurors were told that Gana remained as pastor of a parish in Bridgeport, Pa., until 1995, three years after the first accusations surfaced.

After repeatedly denying his accusers’ allegations, Gana entered a Canadian treatment facility in 1996 where “he broke down . . . he admitted everything,’’ according to a note from the treatment center that was sent to Lynn and presented in court. Still, the facility concluded that Gana was not a pedophile and said his improper sexual conduct stemmed from alcohol and drug addiction.


Because he was not deemed a pedophile, Gana remained a priest. He was not removed from ministry until 2002, when the archdiocese announced a change in policy after the priest molestation scandals that were surfacing in Boston.

Loading comments...
Real journalists. Real journalism. Subscribe to The Boston Globe today.
You're reading  1 of 5 free articles.
Get UNLIMITED access for only 99¢ per week Subscribe Now >
You're reading1 of 5 free articles.Keep scrolling to see more articles recomended for you Subscribe now
We hope you've enjoyed your 5 free articles.
Continue reading by subscribing to for just 99¢.
 Already a member? Log in Home
Subscriber Log In

We hope you've enjoyed your 5 free articles'

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week
Marketing image of
Marketing image of