Supreme Court Delays Release of Grand Jury Report on Alleged Sex Abuse in Catholic Dioceses
By Melissa Klaric
June 20, 2018
The grand jury report on sexual abuse within the Catholic Church will not be made public as soon as expected.
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court issued a court order about 5:30 p.m. Wednesday delaying the public release of the 900-page-plus report expected to reveal detailed testimony from victims.
The Most Rev. Lawrence T. Persico, bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Erie, said neither he nor any diocesan official sought a stay of the publication of the grand jury report.
"And thus, (we) cannot comment on the merits of the legal arguments of others," Persico said. "As demonstrated from the recent revisions to our Policy for the Protection of Children, we are committed to transparency."
Furthermore, Bishop Persico said the diocese anxiously awaits the Supreme Court's decision on the matter.
"(We) support the release of the report, which will give victims a voice," Persico stated. "Until the report is released, we will continue our efforts to identify abusers and provide counseling and assistance to victims."
Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro also issued a statement, which was released moments after the ruling.
"The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania accepted legal challenges to the issuing of a grand jury report detailing widespread sexual abuse within the Catholic Church," Shapiro stated. "In an unsealed order, the Supreme Court has issued a stay of proceedings to review and decide those challenges."
Shapiro stated that his office will keep fighting for the victims' voices to be heard.
"My legal team and I will continue fighting tirelessly to make sure the victims of this abuse are able to tell their stories and the findings of this investigation are made public to the people of Pennsylvania," Shapiro said.
Attempts to contact Shapiro's office for further details, including next steps in the process, were unsuccessful.