Justice Ginsberg Denies Diocesan Request to Keep Documents Sealed

The sex abuse scandal in the Catholic Church has always centered on the Church’s paper trail. In the instances where the church documents have been made public by court order, they’ve often revealed the abuser’s history as well as the Church’s efforts to keep that history from the general public. That’s why the documents have been the center of so much litigation.
Yesterday, US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg denied a request by the Diocese of Bridgeport to keep their documents sealed. The documents in question number about 12,000 pages of court testimony, depositions, and legal arguments involving 23 priest abuse lawsuits concerning 7 Diocese of Bridgeport priests. Prior to Justice Ginsberg’s ruling, the Connecticut Supreme Court has ruled twice in favor of unsealing the church papers. The Diocese’s only legal option now is to appeal to the full US Supreme Court in order to keep the documents secret.
While the lawsuits against the Diocese of Bridgeport have long since been resolved, newspapers including the Hartford Courant and the NY Times have petitioned the court for access to these church files. The media is interested in reviewing the documents in order to determine Cardinal Edward Egan’s role in the priest abuse scandal while he was bishop of Bridgeport in the 1980’s.