Pa. Supreme Court releases opinion on blocked grand jury report

Attorney General Josh Shapiro says bishops support the release of findings on sex abuse in six diocese.

Steve Tawa
June 25, 2018 - 4:16 pm
Roman Catholic priest

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Days after the Pennsylvania Supreme Court blocked a grand jury report detailing sexual abuse by Catholic priests in six of the eight dioceses in the Commonwealth, it has now released an opinion supporting that order. 

In its original four-sentence order, the Supreme Court did not disclose its reasons, nor did it identify the petitioners who moved to block the more than 800-page grand jury report. Now, in a five-page opinion by the court, justices write "many individuals lodged challenges." But they remain unnamed. 

The court points out "most, if not all, of the petitioners alleged that they are named or identified in a way that unconstitutiionally infringes on their right to reputation and denies them due process."  A number of them say they were not aware of, or allowed to appear in, the proceeedings before the grand jury.

Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro has said bishops from all six dioceses — Allentown, Erie, Greensburg, Harrisburg, Pittsburgh and Scranton — had agreed to support the release of the findings. 
The report is expected to examine sexual abuse and cover-ups in every Catholic diocese in the Commonwealth except Philadelphia and Altoona-Johnstown, which previously had been documented in separate grand jury reports.