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Church Documents Reveal Priest Protection
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Thousands of pages of secret court documents from sex abuse lawsuits involving Connecticut priests were released today, ending a seven-year legal battle.  WNPR's Diane Orson reports.
 
The records include briefs, affidavits and testimony from 23 clergy sex abuse lawsuits brought against the Bridgeport Roman Catholic Diocese and settled in 2001.  The documents reveal how retired Cardinal Edward Egan of New York handled the crisis when he was Bishop of Bridgeport. Egan defended priests facing multiple accusations of sexual abuse and allowed them to continue working for years, saying that charges of sexual misconduct were rarely proven to be true. The church has been fighting for years to prevent release of the records.  In May the Connecticut Supreme Court ruled against the church.  The Diocese appealed to the US Supreme Court which refused to hear the case. 

For NPR News, I’m Diane Orson in New Haven.