Clergy ask to keep child sex abuse report secret
HARRISBURG, Pa. —
Nearly two dozen current and former Roman Catholic clergy members say a grand jury report into child sexual abuse and attempts to cover it up is replete with errors and "improper assertions," and they argue Pennsylvania's Supreme Court shouldn't grant a request to make it public.
The clergy members provided new details about their position Thursday in their lawyers' response to news organizations' effort to have the investigative grand jury report unsealed. They say making it public without revisions will irreparably harm their reputations and deny them the due process the law guarantees.
The response was signed by 18 lawyers. Their clients' identities and sections of the response were blacked out.
The Supreme Court put the release on hold last month. The Associated Press and other news organizations are seeking its release.
Pennsylvania's attorney general is supporting a request by news organizations that the state Supreme Court allow publication of an extensive report into child sexual abuse and attempts to cover it up in several Roman Catholic dioceses.
Attorney General Josh Shapiro also wrote in a court filing Thursday he opposes requests by unnamed parties to present their own evidence, question witnesses and rewrite the grand jury report "in accordance with their preferred view of the facts."
The high court on June 20 held up the report, the result of a two-year investigation that a judge decided a month ago to make public.
The Supreme Court has since put it on hold. News organizations, including The Associated Press, have asked to intervene and argue that it should be released.