Last year in May, the Connecticut Supreme Court granted the request of four newspapers for the release of over 12,000 pages pertaining to a group of 23 cases which alleged sexual abuse by the Roman Catholic clergy which were settled out of court in 2001. The Bridgeport Roman Catholic Diocese requested a stay with the intention of asking for an extended stay from the US supreme court, which was granted.
Initially the Diocese petitioned Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and she declined the request for an extended stay. So what did the Diocese do next? They asked another judge, a judge who also happens to be a conservative and devout Catholic, Justice Antonin Scalia and he decided the entire court should consider the case, effectively granting them a short reprieve from releasing the records until the court case is considered at the end of September.
The reaction to this obviously biased action was not shocking:
"The appeal to the court's most stridently Catholic member, whose son is a priest, smacks of desperation and favoritism," said David Clohessy, national director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.So why does the church want to fight so hard to keep the records from being released? Any reason beyond the obvious embarrassment of having their already well-known (and evidently accepted among the Catholic community) actions being made glaringly public? Well, the Catholic church protects their own.
The records have been under seal since the diocese settled the cases in 2001. They could provide details on how retired New York Cardinal Edward Egan handled the allegations when he was bishop in Bridgeport from 1988 to 2000.It shouldn't be upsetting or even surprising to see religious figures in positions of power helping out their fellow sect-specific theists, regardless of the integrity of the position they hold, but I still find this disappointing. The Catholic church is guilty of willfully protecting pedophile priests for years, they've made no real apologies for this, and they're still only interested in covering their own asses. Disgusting.