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California Supreme Court blocks release of priest abuse records

[JURIST] In an unexplained decision, the Supreme Court of California [official website] late Tuesday blocked the release of files concerning some 117 priests from the Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles [official website] alleged to have committed sexual abuse. The Archdiocese had been prepared to release the files as early as December as part of a mediation agreement between the Archdiocese and attorneys for the alleged victims. The documents and files detail when the Church first learned of allegations of abuse, what action they took, and even the identity of some accused priests whose names have not yet been released. Attorney Donald Steier filed for and received a temporary stay for his clients, 26 accused priests who allege that the mediation agreements must remain confidential under California law. The 2nd District Court of Appeals for California [official website] refused to make the stay permanent however, and it was due to expire at 5 PM local time Tuesday evening. The California Supreme Court ordered a block on the release of the documents at 4:45 PM. AP has more. The Los Angeles Times has local coverage.

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