Thursday, May 20, 2010

Church documents at issue in Conn. clergy sex abuse case

Church documents at issue in Conn. clergy sex abuse case
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) ,

The lawyer for a woman alleging a Roman Catholic priest molested her when she was a child says that Connecticut church leaders are trying to keep hundreds of documents secret, including a letter to Pope Benedict XVI when he was a cardinal.
The woman, identified as Jane Doe, wants the documents for her Superior Court lawsuit against the Norwich Diocese. She says the Rev. Thomas Shea abused her in the 1970s when he was at St. Joseph's Church in New London. Shea died in 2006.
Her lawyer, Robert Reardon, is asking a judge to decide whether to release 661 pages of documents that the diocese says are privileged, including a 2005 letter about Shea from Norwich Bishop Michael Cote to Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, who is now pope.
A diocesan spokesman says the matter is confidential.

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