Bankruptcy judge rejects archdiocese’s broad request for secrecy

Star Tribune

[with court document]

Posted by: James Eli Shiffer Updated: January 26, 2015

As part of its bankruptcy filing, the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis sought wide discretion to withhold details on settlements with victims of sexually abusive priests. The Star Tribune challenged that motion in court last week, agreeing that names and identifying information of victims should be kept private but arguing that the archdiocese’s request was “overly broad.”

“A policy of openness promotes actual fairness and the appearance of fairness, and enables the press to perform its watchdog function” in the bankruptcy process, wrote Star Tribune attorneys John Borger and Leita Walker.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Robert Kressel said from the bench that the Archdiocese’s request was “too vague.” On Wednesday, Kressel issued the following order that allows the redaction of names and other identifying information about abuse victims, but otherwise limits what the Archdiocese can withhold from public scrutiny.

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