Pa. Supreme Court: Release redacted report that names more than 300 ‘predator priests’

The Inquirer

July 27, 2018

By Angela Couloumbis & Liz Navratil

Harrisburg – The Pennsylvania Supreme Court on Friday ordered the release of a redacted copy of a highly anticipated grand jury report on clergy sexual abuse, one the court said identifies more than 300 “predator priests” but would conceal the names of a handful of clergy members who contend it is inaccurate or unfairly maligns their reputations.

The order by the seven-member high court provided a temporary victory for about two dozen current and former clergy members who have waged a furious legal fight to prevent their names from being publicly disclosed. The high court’s decision will allow them to remain unidentified for weeks, if not months, while the justices weigh their arguments.

Some critics said that even a slight delay in publicly identifying any of the accused priests could enable them to escape criticism because public interest will wane.

In their 31-page order, the justices agreed that the case — and complaints by clergy implicated in the investigation — raises due-process issues. In doing so, they signaled frustration with both the Attorney General’s Office, which led the two-year inquiry, as well as Judge Norman A. Krumenacker III, who supervised the grand jury’s work and has said the full, unredacted report should be made public.

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