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Why we fought to unseal records detailing abuse by NM priests, and what's next

Chris Ramirez
October 19, 2017 03:35 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – For decades, the Catholic Archdiocese of Santa Fe has kept thousands of files on priests who abused children a secret, guarded by a court-protected confidentiality order.

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KOB and members of its legal team challenged that secrecy in court. Judge Alan Malott agreed with the station that much of the information should no longer be kept in guarded files, saying that’s time to make the information available to the public.

The Archdiocese of Santa Fe released the following statement on Wednesday:

Today, District Court Judge Alan Malott authorized the public disclosure of certain documents relating to three priests who have been credibly accused of sexual misconduct with minors in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s. As with its recent September 12, 2017 publication of a list of clergy accused of sexual misconduct, it is the Archdiocese of Santa Fe’s hope that the disclosure of these documents which have been disclosed in filings in these matters over the past 25 years, will serve as an additional step in healing for survivors, their families, our Church and communities. 

Going forward, the archdiocese intends to continue promoting transparency in its efforts to protect children and young people from sexual abuse by clergy or anyone else in the community, while at the same time being careful to respect the rights of those who may be falsely accused, and respect the privacy of abuse survivors and their families.

Watch the above video to hear from KOB’s Chris Ramirez on why the station waged the fight, and what we plan on doing next.

Credits

Chris Ramirez

Copyright 2017 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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