Lawyers for a former church administrator facing trial in the scandal said the handwritten 1994 memo was evidence that high-level church officials had been covering up wrongdoing within the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.
Monsignor William Lynn faces trial next month on charges of conspiracy and endangerment for allegedly concealing the allegations against the priests.
"It is beyond doubt that Msgr. Lynn was completely unaware of this act of obstruction," attorneys Jeffrey Lindy and Thomas Bergstrom wrote in court documents filed Friday, the Philadelphia Inquirer said Sunday.
The newspaper said Lynn has contended that he was actually trying to confront the abuse issue and compiled the list for Bevilacqua, who instead ordered it shredded. Lynn's superior destroyed three of the four copies of the memo but secretly kept one copy that was locked in a safe.
Bevilacqua died Jan 31.