Key names will be in priest abuse files

Jan. 31, 2013 at 9:57 AM
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LOS ANGELES, Jan. 31 (UPI) -- Los Angeles archdiocese attorneys proposed, then dropped, a plan to turn over more than 30,000 pages of documents on alleged abuse by priests without key names.

Archdiocese lawyers had proposed that the latest batch of documents have the names of Cardinal Roger Mahony and other church leaders handling child abuse cases redacted, the Los Angeles Times reported Wednesday.

As part of a 2007 court settlement, the church agreed to make public the personnel files of 89 priests accused of sexually abusing children. Fourteen files, released last week as part of a civil litigation, showed Mahony and his chief adviser on abuse, Msgr. Thomas Curry, worked to hide the sexual abuse of children from police in the 1980s.

Attorneys for the victims and media cried foul when church lawyers proposed to the Los Angeles County Superior Court judge overseeing the release that the much larger batch of files have the names of top church officials blacked out, the Times reported.

They said the legal maneuver flew in the face of a ruling by Judge Emilie H. Elias that the public was entitled to the information.

"The archdiocese simply disregarded the court's directive," attorneys for the media, including the Times, said in papers filed Wednesday. "The result is to effectively continue to keep secret the roles of the individuals identified in those files, and to mask their knowledge of, or role in [abuse of children]."

Later Wednesday, the church backed away from its proposal, with an attorney telling the Times the church was committed to including "the names, clearly legible, every one of them."

Elias will determine which records will be made public.

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