Catholic Diocese Appeal Requested

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
August 26, 2004

The Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh has appealed a ruling that said lawsuits filed by alleged sexual abuse victims could proceed to trial.

Allegheny County Common Pleas Judge R. Stanton Wettick Jr. ruled Aug. 3 on the cases, which claim the diocese conspired to protect priests who molested children as long ago as the 1950s.

In nearly identical cases, a judge in Lehigh County had also ruled that conspiracy suits regarding old cases could proceed, while a Philadelphia judge had ruled that they were barred by the long-expired statute of limitations regarding child sexual abuse. Those cases are also being appealed, so it made no sense for the Pittsburgh diocese to proceed without hearing from the Superior Court of Pennsylvania, said William Pietragallo II, an attorney for the diocese.