November 18, 2005

Open The Bridgeport Files

Hartford Courant

November 18, 2005
The Bridgeport Diocese should give up its battle to block the release of documents stemming from a priest sexual abuse scandal settled four years ago.

Four newspapers, including The Courant, sued to gain access to the sealed files. Superior Court Judge Robert F. McWeeny ordered the documents released three years ago, but the diocese appealed. Now the state Supreme Court has backed Judge McWeeny, citing an important presumption that court records are open to the public. The case was returned to Superior Court for a new hearing.

Catholic Church prelates have proclaimed a new era of openness and accountability regarding the sexual abuse of youths by priests. But that commitment means little if the church continues to hide behind, in the words of Judge McWeeny, a technical "fig leaf" to shield files that likely would shed light on the despicable actions of a small minority of clergy members.

Posted by kshaw at November 18, 2005 08:29 AM