April 13, 2005

Court Blocks Church From Releasing Priest Abuse Files

Los Angeles Times

By Jean Guccione, Times Staff Writer

The California Supreme Court on Tuesday blocked the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles from releasing summaries of the confidential personnel files of more than 100 priests accused of molesting children.

A lawyer for several priests asked the court to stop the planned disclosure of the documents, which would have identified when church officials became aware of individual abuse allegations, and what, if any, action was taken.

He argued that release of the documents, known as proffers, would violate the priests' privacy rights as well as laws that protect confidential communications between attorneys and psychotherapists and their clients.

The summaries were prepared by lawyers for the archdiocese as part of their efforts to resolve 544 claims against the church for failing to protect children from sexually predatory priests.

Posted by kshaw at April 13, 2005 07:13 AM