July 29, 2005

Release of Data on Priests Urged

Los Angeles Times

By Jean Guccione, Times Staff Writer

Cardinal Roger M. Mahony's lawyer told a state appellate court Thursday that the church should be allowed to release summaries of the personnel files of more than 100 Roman Catholic priests accused of molesting children.

But an attorney for several accused priests, Donald Steier, argued that making the summaries public would violate the individual clerics' privacy rights, as well as the confidentiality of mediation talks underway to settle 544 claims that the archdiocese failed to protect parishioners from predators.

The summaries would identify accused priests, but not the church officials who critics say transferred or referred the priests for treatment without warning parishioners.

In an unusual twist, Raymond P. Boucher, the lawyer for the alleged victims, joined with church attorney J. Michael Hennigan in urging the release of the summaries. Hennigan argued they would help settle the 3-year-old legal claims.

Posted by kshaw at July 29, 2005 08:02 AM