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Judge approves public release of Baltimore Catholic church sex abuse report with redactions

Maryland AG submits proposed redactions to Baltimore Archdiocese sexual abuse report
Maryland AG submits proposed redactions to Baltimore Archdiocese sexual abuse report 00:36

BALTIMORE -- A Baltimore Circuit Court judge approved the release of the Catholic church sex abuse report with the proposed redactions submitted by the Maryland Attorney General's Office.

There is no timeline, however, on when the report will be released.

The redactions include omitting names of people who are living and "are accused of abuse, hiding abuse, enabling abuse, assisting in the cover-up of abuse, or protecting abusers from the consequences of their action."

Order for Redactions by Adam Thompson on Scribd

Circuit Court Associate Judge Robert Taylor Jr. on Tuesday approved those redactions.

Monday was the deadline for lawyers to provide suggestions on what information will not be made public. Once the attorney general has made those redactions, his office can release the report.

Survivors of abuse and their advocates welcomed the decision to move forward with a redacted report, noting that it meant "vindication" for survivors.

"Some of these stories are absolutely, um, some of these abusers are depraved people," David Lorenz with the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, told WJZ.   

Last month, Judge Taylor ordered the release of a redacted version of the grand jury investigation into a history of child sexual abuse within Catholic Church in Baltimore City.

Investigators with the Maryland Attorney General's Office completed the 456-page investigation and asked the courts in November for permission to release their findings to the public

The report allegedly goes back 80 years and identifies 158 priests within the archdiocese accused of the "sexual abuse" and "physical torture" of more than 600 victims.  

"The Archdiocese supports the process outlined by the court and will continue to fully cooperate with the Attorney General," the Baltimore Archdiocese said in a statement. "As we anticipate the release of the report we remain in prayerful solidarity with victim-survivors and pray the report assists in healing."

Survivors, attorneys and advocates for the survivors have been pushing the courts to release the report to the public.

"You have to ask yourself, the church didn't just turn a blind eye," Lorenz said. "They helped these people."  

In his previous ruling, Taylor said releasing the report is in the interest of justice, partly because the "only form of justice that may now be available is a public reckoning." 

"This will help us say that shame, that guilt, that fear doesn't belong in me," Lorenz said. "It belongs at the foot of the church and it will help us move that fear, that guilt, that shame and put it where it belongs because it doesn't belong on us." 

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