Bridgeport Diocese Document Case to Go Before SCOTUS

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia has passed a request from the Catholic Diocese of Bridgeport on to the full Supreme Court. The case involves sealed church documents concerning priest abuse lawsuits. Last week, Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg denied Bridgeport’s request to keep the documents sealed and out of the public view.
The Diocese of Bridgeport maintains that the documents are protected by the First Amendment because they concern the church’s personnel files and the Diocese’s handling of priest transfers and determinations about priests’ fitness for ministry.
In 2001, the Diocese of Bridgeport secretly settled 23 priest abuse lawsuits for an undisclosed sum. In all likelihood, the sealed documents contain information about former Bishop Edward Egan’s role in the transfers and handling of priests accused of sexual abuse.
The Connecticut Supreme Court has already ruled that the documents are public record and should be unsealed. The US Supreme Court will make a decision by September 29.
Justice Antonin Scalia, a devout Catholic whose son is a Catholic priest, did not comment on the documents before submitting them to the full Court.