The following comes from a January 8 story on the website of Catholic News Agency.
The personnel files of priests accused of sexual abuse will soon be released by the archdiocese of Los Angeles, cooperating with county Judge Emilie Elias’ order that the files be released without editing.
“The archdiocese will abide by Judge Elias’s decision. We are now working with all parties involved to facilitate the release of the documents as promptly as possible,” said a Jan. 7 statement from the archdiocese.
Carolina Guevara, associate director for media relations, added that the archdiocese “has been committed to the release of the files as part of our continued efforts to inform the public of what had occurred and our efforts to prevent abuse and protect children in our parishes and schools.”
Judge Elias’ order for the release of the files was made at a hearing Jan. 7. In December, attorneys representing plaintiffs had argued that edits proposed by the archdiocese were excessive. The edits were in accord with a 2011 decision by a retired judge named Dickran Tevrizian who was acting as arbiter and who had been chosen by both sides.
Tevrizian’s 2011 decision had been challenged by the Los Angeles Times and the Associated Press. The two news organizations argued that his decision would “deny the public information that is necessary to fully understand the church’s knowledge about the serial molestation of children by priests over a period of decades.”
The retired judge’s decision was the result of a 2007 “global settlement” between the archdiocese and victims of priest sexual abuse.
“That settlement included an agreement by the archdiocese to release pertinent information from files of priests who had been publicly accused of abuse and who were the subject of the settlement,” Archbishop Gomez wrote in a letter to his priests Dec. 20.
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