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Pennsylvania Court To Release Edited Version Of Massive Church Sex Abuse Report

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Joshua Gill Religion Reporter

The Pennsylvania Supreme court is set to decide Tuesday afternoon which information to redact from the long-delayed grand jury report on clergy sexual abuse.

The report, which took two years to compile and covers 70 years’ worth of alleged abuse in six dioceses, was set to be released in June, but several priests named in the report filed legal challenges against its release on the grounds that it violated their reputational rights under the state constitution. The challenges resulted in a temporary hold on the report’s release, but justices ordered that a version be released in the interim with the names of those who filed legal challenges redacted. (RELATED: Some Priests Listed In Massive Sexual Abuse Report Are Still In Ministry)

The deadline for deciding which names and other information will be redacted ends Tuesday afternoon, according to The Associated Press.

Some diocesan bishops, like those of Erie and Harrisburg, have circumvented the hold on the report’s release by releasing the names of priests in their dioceses who are mentioned in the report. David Zubik, bishop of Pittsburgh, pledged to release the names of priests from his diocese mentioned in the report once the edited version is released.

Lawrence Persico, bishop of Erie, said of the report that it was “shocking to read the graphic details of exactly what occurred,” according to AP.

Court records say that the report identifies over 300 “predator priests.” Zubik admitted that some priests mentioned in the report remain in ministry to this day, but only those for whom the diocese determined the allegations against them were unsubstantiated. Zubik promised that once the names are released, he will visit parishioners whose active priests are mentioned in the report to explain why the diocese determined that there was no credible allegation against them.

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