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Files on Catholic priests in abuse cases to be made public

October 10, 2012 |  5:08 pm

Personnel files of Los Angeles Archdiocese Catholic priests accused of sexual molestation will be released to the public within the next few months, an archdiocese lawyer said Wednesday.

The release follows a decision by the California Supreme Court on Wednesday to deny an attempt by individual priests to keep the records private.

J. Michael Hennigan, an attorney for the archdiocese, said the church agreed as part of a 2006 settlement to release the personnel files of several dozen accused priests. The archdiocese paid $660 million to settle more than 500 lawsuits filed by alleged sexual abuse victims.

The release of the records was held up by the lawsuit filed by individual priests, who lost in lower courts, then appealed. The state high court refused Wednesday to hear that appeal.

“We have already selected the documents that are going to be released, gone through a process of redacting innocent names and we need a court order” signing off on the release of the documents, Hennigan said.

Once a judge signs the order, the documents must be released within three months, Hennigan said.

-- Maura Dolan