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Undercover Legal Battle Brewing Over Damning Grand Jury Report Into Clergy Sex Abuse In Pennsylvania

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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) —An undercover legal battle is brewing over what is reportedly a very eye-opening grand jury report about clergy sex abuse in the state of Pennsylvania.

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Derailed, at least for now, an 800-plus page report investigating decades of priest sex abuse across Pennsylvania remains barred from release by the state supreme court.

The reasons why have legal experts troubled.

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Credit: (CBS3)

"It's fundamental that people who commit crimes be held responsible," Tom Kline, an attorney, said.

Attorney General Josh Shapiro ordered the investigation of six Pennsylvania dioceses, including Allentown, Erie, Greensburg, Harrisburg Pittsburgh and Scranton.

Church and public officials and community leaders are on the hook.

The bishops have said they're not objecting but the individual priests, at least some of them, are doing so.

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Former DA Lynne Abraham initiated the first comprehensive investigation of Philadelphia's Roman Catholic Church.

"This massive clergy sex abuse scandal, which has been covered up, lied about and denied by the various dioceses of Pennsylvania," Abraham said. "And some of the priests want to come in and say why their names should not be listed in that report."

Philadeplhia and Johnstown-Altoona were excluded since extensive grand jury investigations have already been conducted.

The Supreme Court upheld the report's release after sources say more than two dozen people objected.

The court explained in an opinion that it's still reviewing the massive document.

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Kline believes the Supreme Court will eventually do the right thing but he questions the role of those connected to the church.

"Their first instinct is to make sure it is swept under the rug," he said. "Their first instinct is to make sure it doesn't come to light and that's the opposite of what they promised their followers, the public and law enforcement."

A spokesman for the Shapiro told Eyewitness News, "The time is up for the Supreme Court's review of the report."

All the diocese Eyewitness News contacted claimed to have had no role in keeping the report under wraps.

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