Parishioners of Bridgeport’s Roman Catholic Diocese plan to catalogue thousands of pages of court documents on sex abuse by priests. The records were made public earlier this month. WNPR’s Diane Orson reports.
The more than 12,000 pages reveal how Bridgeport church leaders handled the clergy sex abuse crisis. The records include depositions by retired Cardinal Edward Egan of New York who was Bishop of Bridgeport at the time. Egan defended priests facing multiple accusations of sexual abuse and allowed them to continue working for years. Jamie Dance is co-chair of Voice of the Faithful in Bridgeport, a group of lay Catholics who support transparency in the church. She says volunteers will organize the material:
"...in case similar cases come forward that need to be balanced against what’s happened in the past, and also for those who need to pursue more information regarding purported instances abuse by priests mentioned in the deposition."
The Bridgeport Diocese settled 23 clergy sex abuse lawsuits in 2001 and fought for years to prevent release of documents filed under seal. In May, the CT Supreme Court ruled against the church. The Diocese appealed to the US Supreme Court which refused to hear the case.
For WNPR, I’m Diane Orson.