The US Supreme Court has refused to hear an appeal by the Diocese of Bridgeport in a clergy sex abuse case. Church leaders have been fighting to stop the release of secret court documents.
The case involves thousands of pages of records from 23 sex abuse lawsuits brought against the Bridgeport Roman Catholic Diocese. The lawsuits were settled in 2001. Four newspapers sued to gain access to documents which had been filed under seal. They detail how church leaders handled the crisis.
David Clohessy is national director of the Chicago-based Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests. " We are convinced the records will show some number of church employees who either ignored or concealed suspicions or actual knowledge of terrible felonies that should have been reported to the police and clearly were not."
In a statement on its website, the Diocese says its disappointed to learn that the Supreme Court will not hear the case, and continues to believe that the constitutional issues presented are significant. Church leaders say they’re working with the Connecticut courts to assure the materials are appropriately unsealed.