October 12, 2005

LA Archdiocese Papers May Rush Settlements

LOS ANGELES (CA)
The Free Press

By GILLIAN FLACCUS
The Associated Press

LOS ANGELES

Newly released documents detailing sex abuse allegations against Roman Catholic priests could help speed hundreds of lawsuits toward settlement as the Los Angeles Archdiocese faces potentially damaging developments on other fronts in the abuse crisis.

The archdiocese posted summaries of the confidential files of 126 priests on its Web site at midnight Tuesday, even though they weren't expected to be made public for several weeks.

The archdiocese said it released the summaries to help victims heal and to make good on a deal made with plaintiffs during nearly three years of settlement talks. An appeals court ruling last month made it possible for the church to post the summaries, said Michael Hennigan, an archdiocesan attorney.

"I think what we have here is a church that is embarrassed, that is contrite, that is ashamed of what happened in the past and is committed to reforming it to the extent that it is humanly possible to do so," he said.

Posted by kshaw at October 12, 2005 06:28 PM