Court refuses to review priest-sex case

Nov. 2, 2009 at 4:02 PM
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WASHINGTON, Nov. 2 (UPI) -- The U.S. Supreme Court Monday refused to review an order forcing the Catholic Diocese of Bridgeport, Conn., to release documents on priest-child sexual abuse.

The Connecticut Supreme Court earlier ruled that more than 12,000 pages in 23 lawsuits against six priests should be unsealed, the Connecticut Post reported. The U.S. Supreme Court refused without comment to review that ruling.

Monday's action followed an earlier refusal by the U.S. Supreme Court to issue an emergency stay in the case.

"We were disappointed to learn (the high court) ... has decided not to hear our case," said diocese spokesman Joseph McAleer, the Post reported. "We continue to believe that the constitutional issues presented, including the First Amendment rights of religious organizations and the privacy rights of all citizens, are significant and important for the court to consider."

But the Post reported Barbara Dorris, spokeswoman for the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, said, "We're relieved that the public is one step closer to finally learning how much Cardinal Edward Egan knew and how little he did to stop child sex crimes when he was in Bridgeport. ... We're just sorry Bishop (William) Lori has taken seven years and probably spent at least $100,000 donated by parishioners to protect himself and his colleagues instead of protecting kids."

The newspaper said a hearing on how to release the documents has been scheduled next week in Waterbury (Conn.) Superior Court.

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