LOS ANGELES (AP) — Attorneys for hundreds of people who claim they were sexually molested by priests and religious brothers in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles are going before a judge to argue that confidential files on the priests should be made public.

The plaintiff attorneys are asking a mediator judge at the hearing Thursday to recommend the release of files relating to the sexual abuse of children by priests.

READ MORE: Meat Loaf, Entertainer Known For 'I'd Do Anything For Love,' Countless Other Hits, Dies At 74

The release of the files has been in dispute since the archdiocese settled more than 550 cases for a record-breaking $660 million in 2007.

READ MORE: VP Kamala Harris Visiting San Bernardino To Tout $600M In Wildfire Recovery Money For Calif.

The plaintiffs argue that the settlement included a provision for the eventual release of the church’s sealed files.

But the church wants a more limited release and says disclosing the priests’ confidential files violate their privacy rights and their religious freedom.

MORE NEWS: 'I Hope Paradise Is As You Remember It;' Boy George, Cher, Stephen Fry React To Death Of Meat Loaf

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)