Springfield Diocese, Insurers Square off in Courti

December 13, 2006

Pittsfield, Mass. The Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield squared off against seven of its insurance carriers in court yesterday over the disclosure of thousands of pages of church documents.

The diocese is suing the insurance companies to get them to provide coverage for claims by 57 people who said they were sexually abused by priests.

The insurers argued in Berkshire Superior Court that the documents will better enable them to see how the diocese handled allegations of sexual abuse by its priests and whether the church fulfilled its obligations to protect the public.

A lawyer for the diocese argued that the 7,500 pages of documents are protected by state law protecting the right to spiritual counseling.

An insurance company lawyer says the diocese failed to show that the documents have anything to do with a spiritual counseling privilege.


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