Man Attacks Priest He Claims Molested Him 35 Years Ago

43-year-old William Lynch was arrested by police in Santa Clara, California on Friday for the May 10, 2010 attack on Jesuit Priest Jerold Lindner.

The AP reports on the attack and the decades-long anger that apparently led up to it:

Lynch During a confrontation at the Jesuits’ Sacred Heart retirement home in Los Gatos, Calif., Mr. Lynch repeatedly punched Father Lindner in the face and body after the priest said he did not recognize him, said Sgt. Rick Sung, a spokesman for the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Department. Mr. Lynch and his younger brother settled with the Jesuits of the California Province, a Roman Catholic religious order, for $625,000 in 1998 after accusing Father Lindner of abusing them in 1975 during weekend camping trips in the Santa Cruz Mountains.

Mr. Harris said the boys, who were 7 and 5 at the time, were raped and forced to have oral sex with each other while Father Lindner watched. Father Lindner, 65, has been accused of abuse by nearly a dozen people, including his sister and nieces and nephews.

Investigators connected Mr. Lynch to the attack using phone records, Sergeant Sung said. A half-hour before the episode, a caller identifying himself as Eric called the home and said someone would arrive shortly to inform Father Lindner of a family member’s death. Father Lindner was able to drive himself to the hospital after the attack. He did not return a call left on his answering machine. He has previously denied abusing the Lynch boys and has not been criminally charged. The abuse falls outside the statute of limitations.

The attack was foreshadowed in an interview Lynch conducted with the LA Times in 2002 in which he told the newspaper: “Many times I thought of driving down to L.A. and confronting Father Jerry. I wanted to exorcise all of the rage and anger and bitterness he put into me. You can’t put into words what this guy did to me. He stole my innocence and destroyed my life.”

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  1. Good for him. As far as I'm concerned he could have done much more and be morally sound. I can't imagine anyone defending the amoral Catholic church or anyone associated with it. Your local church may not have been involved in any of this but the church and its hierarchy has the blood of little kids' ripped anuses on its collective dick and hands.

    Posted by: Scott | Oct 31, 2010 9:32:18 AM

  2. Not to sound like a complete whore or anything, but William Lynch is quite a fine looking man.

    Posted by: Beast | Oct 31, 2010 9:37:33 AM

  3. @Scott: any more graphic, please?

    @Beast: WORD!

    Posted by: topher | Oct 31, 2010 9:42:06 AM

  4. @Beast--well, he is, and it's shameful that he should have been subjected to some things that have left him so knotted up in anger for so long. It's a whited sepulcher thing.I hope the catharis enables him to get on with life and add inner peace to his apparent outer beauty.

    Posted by: CoMo'mo | Oct 31, 2010 10:05:18 AM

  5. I agree with Scott. Good for him!

    Especially as this particular piece of garbage is an unrepentant serial child-rapist.

    One can only imagine the reception waiting for him in the hereafter (if you are a believer).

    Posted by: chasmader | Oct 31, 2010 10:08:32 AM

  6. Give Lynch a medal.

    The Roman catholic church is one of the most despicable institutions ever created. No one with an ounce of decency can be affiliated with it.

    Posted by: justiceontherocks | Oct 31, 2010 10:11:54 AM

  7. While he is obviously justified, there is something sad about the fact that to get his just due he has to put himself in jail to do it.

    I really think that the statute of limitations should be changed for cases like this. A lot of children who were abused aren't able to stand up for themselves until years or decades later, when it is not legal to prosecute. That's why you have incidents like this happening.

    @Beast, TRUTH!

    Posted by: Joe | Oct 31, 2010 10:48:02 AM

  8. I'm just surprised this kind of stuff doesn't happen more often.

    Posted by: Mona | Oct 31, 2010 11:07:27 AM

  9. karma's a bitch. And yes, now that you mention it, I too am surprised this sort of thing doesn't happen more often. In fact, this is the first I've ever heard of personal retribution. God forgive me, but I do like the idea of these rapists priests living in fear that tomorrow they just might get the shit kicked out of them. And I LOVE the idea that the RC hierarchy - previously worried about losing cash and property to victims, can now worry about losing a few teeth as well.

    Posted by: pete | Oct 31, 2010 11:21:06 AM

  10. The douche bag got off lucky, Lynch showed restraint in not using a baseball bat or attacking him late at night when Linder was alone. The sickest part is the Church is still fighting many of these cases still today, and refusing to turn over all the information it has on these sick priests.

    Posted by: patrick nyc | Oct 31, 2010 11:33:04 AM

  11. Amen Pete

    Posted by: Zo | Oct 31, 2010 11:34:06 AM

  12. The Case of Father Jerry:

    That tells you everything you need to know about why I am pleased that William Lynch was finally able to punch out Father Jerry. If the Catholic Church refuses to punish this man in any way, then somebody has to do it for them. Father Jerry's own brother and sister have both threatened to kill him if they ever see him again. This monster molesteed his own nieces and nephews!

    I'm sure Father Jerry confessed his "serious sins" to his local Father Superior, who told him Ego Te Absolvo my son, now go in peace. Isn't it nice that in the Catholic Church all you have to do is go to Confession and then everything is forgiven and you are free to start all over again?

    All is forgiven and forever kept confidential under pain of excommunication. Secrecy is extremely important to the Church, especially if it involves something that would harm the reputation of the Church. Harm to the children is only a second thought of minor importance.

    Posted by: Ninong | Oct 31, 2010 11:37:23 AM

  13. (1)
    It's a terrible thing to advocate for violence. Sure: I've been angry enough to advocate for violence against assholes, but I still know that all violence is wrong and dehumanizing.

    It's also an awful thing for some gay men to hypersexualize a man's photo in a post that addresses his and his brother's sexual assault at the hands of a pedophile priest. It's beyond rude and it truly misses the point of this post! This kind of hypersexualization is one of the worse stereotypes of gay men: in this stereotype even during a car crash or at a funeral, if the man is "hot" then gay men sextalk and cruise. (This is also a stereotype of straight male "pigs" who always eroticize women, regardless of the context; sadly, many gay men appropriate the term "pig" and act in concert with this male stereotype.) Inappropriate sextalk at the time when we are talking about ***child abuse*** is so disgusting, gentlemen, and you wonder why some people say that many gay men are overly sexual at the wrong times and in the wrong places! Ridiculous and damaging!

    With this said, I hope this man gets acquitted. He was obviously suffering from a post traumatic stress episode. By not admitting his guilt, the priest continues to abuse and assault this man and so, in my eyes, the man was acting in self-defense.

    Posted by: vegetablelollipop | Oct 31, 2010 11:38:27 AM

  14. The following quote from the book, "A Pilgrim in a Pilgrim Church," by Rembert G. Weakland, Archbishop Emeritus of Milwaukee, is revealing: "We all considered sexual abuse of minors as a moral evil, but had no understanding of its criminal nature."

    Weakland said he initially "accepted naively the common view that it was not necessary to worry about the effects on the youngsters: either they would not remember or they would 'grow out of it.' "

    That memoir by the former Archbishop of Milwaukee was published in June of last year. This is the same man who authorized the secret payment of $450,000 in church funds to pay hush money to a former boyfriend.

    Posted by: Ninong | Oct 31, 2010 11:41:46 AM

  15. Good for you, William Lynch. You did something a lot of us have wanted to do our whole lives. I hope that you will now have a little more peace in your life.

    Not many people know just how horrible the Catholic Church has been in covering up clerical sex abuse. The Vatican gave strict orders that clerical sexual abuse of minors was never to be reported to local law enforcement. Cardinal Ratzinger, then Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, reiterated this position in his May 2001 letter to all Catholic bishops.

    Ratzinger's letter states that the church can claim jurisdiction in cases where abuse has been 'perpetrated with a minor by a cleric'. All reports of sexual abuse were to be investigated by the local bishop in strict secrecy under penalty of automatic excommunication (latae sententiae). If found credible, the results of the investigation were to be forwarded to Cardinal Ratzinger's office for further processing, which could take years.

    In those rare cases where the accused was found guilty, "punishment" was usually a year or so at a monastery for prayer and contemplation.

    Posted by: Ninong | Oct 31, 2010 11:51:15 AM

  16. beast merely stated what everyone thought as soon as they saw the foto, and stated it rather decently.

    as for corporal punishment, doesn't accepting $625,000 in retribution sort of disallow mr. lynch that extralegal indulgence?

    Posted by: unokhan | Oct 31, 2010 12:07:07 PM

  17. Actually, unokhan, with respect, it is INDECENT to sexualize a man's photo in a post about child abuse.

    And I don't think EVERYONE (every man and every woman) who reads the post and sees the photo immediately thinks: "Oh he's HAWT" or "I wanna do him." Some men and women just say, "I'm so sorry for this man and I hope his healing can begin anew."

    Just saying.


    Posted by: vegetablelollipop | Oct 31, 2010 12:20:01 PM

  18. @Joe, don't worry, he's not in jail. He surrendered with his attorney and immediately posted $25,000 bail.

    It's San Jose, California -- he won't do any jail time. You can take that to the bank.

    I believe Bart and William have a lawsuit pending against the Vatican. I hope it's not thrown out like all the others have been.

    Please read this article from the Guardian:

    Posted by: Ninong | Oct 31, 2010 12:20:41 PM

  19. Why is the catholic church, with its cult of child sexual abuse by persons in authority, still allowed tax exempt status? It's not bad enough Ratzi is a Nazi, the cult gets a free pass from the government of the United States of America? Mormons, and catholics, and Palin, oh my!

    Posted by: mad1026 | Oct 31, 2010 12:21:42 PM

  20. I'm really not surprised that it only took two comments before someone focused on the attractiveness of the main subject of the story.

    Because for us gay men, all that really matters in the news is how hot the guys are. Other details are secondary, or irrelevant.


    Posted by: Guest | Oct 31, 2010 12:28:57 PM

  21. The evil bastard priest got exactly what he deserve- hopefully a worse fate awaits for him in hell.

    Posted by: jaragon | Oct 31, 2010 12:32:18 PM

  22. Here's a youtube video that summarizes the feelings some of us have about the catholic church:

    Posted by: Jack | Oct 31, 2010 12:33:05 PM

  23. Some men and women just say, "I'm so sorry for this man and I hope his healing can begin anew."

    Just saying.

    That was my first thought, no matter how he looked, I hope that he heals, then I too thought, good looking man. Most men are wired differently than women Brenda. When most straight men see women that part of the brain that goes to looks or attraction is hit, from what I've heard and seen it is not the same with women. The same I have found in gay men, we may have different desires then straight men, but we are wired in this way as well.

    Not a judgement, just my own observation.

    Posted by: patrick nyc | Oct 31, 2010 12:34:00 PM

  24. So, let's see if we get the timeline correct for those questioning the statute of limitations...

    claims he was abused in 1975.
    obtains a settlement in 1998.
    beats the priest up in 2010.

    There was ample time, even under the worst case, to report this to the police and have charges filed.

    I will not condone the sexual abuse of minors, but I will not applaud vigilantism and physically abusive self-help.

    Maybe he should have taken some of the money he got from the Church and gotten some good counseling. Sounds like it would have helped in a big way.

    Posted by: DR | Oct 31, 2010 12:40:24 PM

  25. Christopher Hitchens wrote an interesting article in Salon a few months ago about the Vatican's cover-up:

    I already posted the link to this 2005 article in the Guardian that discusses Cardinal Ratzinger's letter of May 2001 telling all Catholic bishops that they are not allowed to contact local law enforcement in cases of 'child abuse' because the Vatican claims jurisdiction:

    It is ironic that in the 21st century nations around the world still recognize the Vatican as a sovereign state. No other religious organization in the world enjoys the privileges of diplomatic immunity.

    The obstruction of justice by the Catholic hierarchy in every country in the world is beyond belief. Here's just a sample of what has been uncovered in the U.S.:

    And finally, let me repeat that 'Father' Jerry Lindner molested his own nieces and nephews! He repeatedly raped the 11-year-old son of his brother Larry. Larry's a cop! Larry has threatened to kill him if he ever sees him again. The Jesuit Order and the Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles have already paid out millions of dollars to settle claims against this priest out of court. He has never been brought to trail because all of the claims were settled out of court.

    Posted by: Ninong | Oct 31, 2010 12:45:26 PM

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