Pennsylvania Court Orders Secrecy of Names of 11 Priests Accused of Child Sexual Abuse

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The Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled in favor of 11 Roman Catholic priests accused of child sexual abuse in the 40th Statewide Investigating Grand Jury Report.

In August, the court allowed the publication of the grand jury report. However, it also ordered the temporary redaction of the names of the 11 priests, who filed objections. The clergymen claimed that the grand jury report violated their constitutional rights because it was full of errors and mischaracterizations.

On Monday, the court ordered the permanent redaction of the names of the 11 priests in the grand jury report. They were among the 301 “predator priests” accused of sexually abusing over a thousand children during their ministry.

Protecting the priests’ constitutional rights to reputation

In its opinion, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court said the names of the priest should be redacted permanently to “protect their constitutional rights to reputation.” The court explained that framers of the state’s organic charter considered an “individual’s right to his or her personal reputation as a fundamental human right.”