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LA Archdiocese Ordered To Release Names Of Priests Accused Of Abuse

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LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — A judge on Monday ordered the Los Angeles Archdiocese to release the names of any Southland priests accused of molestation.

KNX 1070’s Ed Mertz reports the ruling by Superior Court Judge Emily Elias requires the Archdiocese to publicly disclose the names of any high-ranking Catholic church officials mentioned in over 30,000 pages of documents involving alleged cases of sexual abuse.

Attorney Raymond Boucher, who represents nearly 1,000 victims of sex abuse by priests, said he and his clients are waiting to learn the identities of those church officials who may have known about widespread abuse allegations.

“Scores of vicars, bishops, members of the Vatican, three or four cardinals, most prominently Cardinal [Roger] Mahony,” Boucher said.

Mahony stepped down in February of 2011 after a devastating clergy abuse scandal unfolded during his time as bishop of Stockton and then as head of nation’s largest archdiocese, resulting in a $660 million settlement with more than 500 plaintiffs.

Barbara Blaine of Chicago, president of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), hailed the ruling.

“We’re thrilled and grateful that a California judge is refusing to protect corrupt Catholic officials by keeping long-secret and long-promised church abuse records hidden any longer,” Blaine said in a statement. “For decades, the Los Angeles Catholic hierarchy has successfully kept under wraps thousands of pages of incriminating documents. Because of the courage and tenacity of hundreds of victims, that will soon end.”

“And children will be safer as a result,” she added.

It could take anywhere between three to four weeks for the Archdiocese to release the documents.

Officials with the L.A. Archdiocese said they would cooperate with the ruling.

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