Featured Article

Bridgeport Diocese Defends Withholding Documents
Article Audio

1:10 minutes (0.57 MB)
Download this Article
Share this Content

Tuesday’s release of thousands secret court documents from clergy sex abuse lawsuits brought against Bridgeport Roman Catholic Diocese ended a seven-year legal battle. But now it appears, the fight may not be over.  WNPR’s Diane Orson reports.

The records reveal how church leaders handled the clergy sex abuse crisis, and include depositions by retired Cardinal Edward Egan who oversaw the Bridgeport Diocese from 1988-2000.  Egan later became Archbishop of New York. He retired earlier this year.

William Fish is counsel to the Hartford Courant, one of four newspapers that sued to gain access to the documents. He calls the documents’ release,  a victory for the public’s right to know.

"This case has gone up to the CT Supreme Court twice now. And during that time the Diocese raised literally every argument one could probably think of.  And it was an opportunity for the CT Supreme Court to speak out strongly and very powerfully as to the importance of public access here in Connecticut."

But the Hartford Courant reports that church officials continue to withhold more than a thousand documents. The Connecticut Supreme Court had granted the church’s request to keep certain files sealed. The Diocese filed new court papers on Tuesday arguing that the withheld material contains privileged information that is constitutionally protected.

For WNPR, I’m Diane Orson.