Court Order Seeking 50 Years of Diocese Details Could Be Model for Others

WQAD [Davenport IA]
December 15, 2003

DAVENPORT (AP) -- A Clinton County district court judge's order to force the Davenport Catholic Diocece turn over 50 years of documents about abusive priests could be used as a model in other cases around the country.

Judge C.H. Pelton's order on November 26th required the diocese to hand over any documents about sexual abuse among priests during the past 50 years. The documents must be given to an attorney representing five of eight people suing the diocese. They claim they were sexually abused as children by their priests.

Attorney Roderick MacLeish, who forced the Boston archdiocese to disclose four decades of secrecy surrounding abuse, says the order is only the second time in the nation that the church has been forced to reveal so much information to plaintiffs.

He says the order will likely reveal details about how the diocese handled abuse complaints.

Opponents of the order say it will force the diocese to defend cases involving priests who are long dead or retired.


Any original material on these pages is copyright © 2004. Reproduce freely with attribution.