PA Supreme Court orders redacted version of report detailing alleged sex abuse to be released

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HARRISBURG — The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has ordered a redacted version of a Grand Jury report detailing the alleged child sex abuse in six of the state’s eight Catholic dioceses, including Harrisburg, to be released.

The deadline for the release is August 14 at 2 p.m.

Friday’s opinion, written by Chief Justice Saylor, says that the court determined that large portions of the report can be released without compromising the constitutional rights of those individuals who are mentioned.

The opinion added in part, “we have provided that an interim version of the grand jury report will be released, containing temporary redactions solely to protect the identities of those who have lodged challenges before us, pending further order of this Court.”

Attorney General Josh Shapiro, who on Thursday sent a letter to Pope Francis concerning his office’s investigation into the alleged abuse, issued this statement on the court’s order:

“Our fear throughout this process has been that the entire Grand Jury report would be shelved and victims’ truth would be silenced. Today’s order by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ensures that will not be the case — the redacted report on widespread child sexual abuse and cover up within the Catholic Church will be released.

“I will continue to fight to ensure every single victim is heard and every priest, bishop and church official is held accountable for their abhorrent conduct. No one victim’s truth is any less important than another and no one’s criminal conduct any less loathsome.

“Today is a victory for the survivors but our work is not yet done.”

In late-June, the state’s highest court blocked the release of the report. Just last week, a Cambria County judge ruled that the release should be made public.

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