LOS ANGELES, Jan. 8 (UPI) -- A Los Angeles judge has ruled names of religious leaders who mishandled sex abuse claims must be included in internal Catholic Church records released publicly.
Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Emilie Elias ruled Monday the release of 30,000 pages of Archdiocese of Los Angeles documents should include the names of archdiocesan officials, as well as the names of priests who had been accused of single acts of molestation.
The documents are to be released under terms of a 2007 settlement between the archdiocese and more than 500 sexual abuse victims.
The ruling overturned a decision of a private mediator, who had said those names should be redacted when the records are made public, the Los Angeles Times reported.
"Don't you think the public has a right to know ... what was going on in their own church," Elias asked an attorney for the archdiocese, the largest in the United States.
The church has paid more than $720 million to settle abuse cases involving more than 200 priests during a span of several decades. The files include confidential personnel records encompassing psychiatric and investigative reports, documented complaints by victims' parents and correspondence with the Vatican.
An attorney for the archdiocese said it could take months to review the records and restore names of archdiocesan officials that had already been edited out, the Times reported.