Archdiocese of St. Louis Sues Law Firm on Confidentiality of Documents

May 31, 2007

  • May 31, 2007 at 7:22 am
    Anon says:
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    First, I\’m very sorry for the trauma you suffered and the years of distress it likely caused. I can\’t imagine how painful it must have been to be abused by a person in a position of trust.

    However, I have to disagree on a strictly legal basis. Client / Attorney confidentiality is a major part of the American judicial system (same as Doctor / Patient, Media / Source, etc / etc).

    This is one of those rare situations where regardless of the good that might come from it, the law must be respected.

    Just as I wouldn\’t want my doctor contacting the news with the results of my last physical, my psychiatrist running a full-page ad letting the world know about my issues, or my etc telling everyone he knew at the bar about my etc, I would expect my attorney to hold my information in the same regard.

    As a Catholic I am outraged at how The Church in the US has handled allegations and admissions of child sexual abuse by members of it\’s clergy and lay. However, the law of practice must be respected on the part of the attorneys involved in these cases.

    Popular or not, too powerful or not… the Catholic Church, it\’s Diocese and Archdiocese, and it\’s members should be afforded the same protections and considerations as any other plaintif in a legal proceeding.

  • May 31, 2007 at 8:21 am
    Sister M. Immaculata Dunn says:
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    Sorry Anon,

    You are wrong.

    These records do not have the same expectation of privacy or confidentiality as medical records, etc., although I know that archdiocesan officals would like us to think that is actually the case.

    These church office files contain such things as transfers, requests, letters to one authority or another complaining about a particular priest. Many church officials are already in that loop so the expectation of confidentiality is really moot.

    In many cases there are many, many complaints and yet, as we have read in Boston\’s cases, chancery officals told parents that there were no other complaints about Father So and So except for your complaint.

    Go to and read some of the Archdiocesan files from a place like Boston. We know, as well, that Cardinal Law lied, on paper and again in depositions he gave. Cardinal Mahony, although ordered to produce files in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, is not complying with the court\’s order.

    I wonder why?

  • May 31, 2007 at 5:24 am
    M. Ryan DiMaria says:
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    As a victim/survivor of childhood sexual abuse by a Catholic priest in California, i can tell you that it is non-sense that the disclosure of the documents would discourage victims from coming forward as the Archdiocese suggests. It will do exactly the opposite. If I were the Archdiocese, I would also not want my dirty laundry aired!

  • May 31, 2007 at 5:41 am
    Sister M. Immaculata Dunn says:
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    This is simply unreal.

    The Archdiocese of St. Louis Sues Law Firm on Confidentiality of Documents?

    Surely you jest, there must be some mistake.

    It has now been five long years since the National Conference of Catholic Bishops promised accountability and transparancy and we still have bishops across the United States playing legal hardball.

    I can\’t believe it. They promised, they really did.

    The records will all come out, sooner or later, as was the case with the Archdiocese of Boston. Not only did Cardinal Law lie but so did those under him who covered up and transferred these pedophiles around from parish to parish.

    There should be many others going to jail beside these sexual abusers of boys and girls.

    Of course, they are all too busy trying to prevent the records from ending up before the public.

    Look at all the work the Archdiocese of Philadelphia went to keep tens of thousands of records away from the public eye.

    Thank God we at least have the Philadelphia Grand Jury Report of 2005.

    Sister M. Immaculata Dunn
    Archdiocese of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

    The archdiocese\’s judicial vicar, Monsignor John Shamleffer, said

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