HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP/KDKA) - Pennsylvania's highest court is holding up the public release of a grand jury report expected to reveal details of widespread sexual abuse, dating back decades, by Roman Catholic priests in six dioceses across the state.
The Supreme Court didn't explain the reasons for its order, released Wednesday.
The court says the grand jury supervisory judge and the state attorney general's office can't release the report without its permission.
The two-year investigation covered six of Pennsylvania's eight dioceses, churches with some 1.7 million members.
Priest abuse in the two other dioceses, in Philadelphia and Altoona-Johnstown, had previously been documented.
The 800-page report includes both the Pittsburgh and Greensburg dioceses.
Following the ruling, Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro released this statement:
"Just moments ago, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania accepted legal challenges to the issuing of a grand jury report detailing widespread sexual abuse within the Catholic Church. In an unsealed order, the Supreme Court has issued a stay of proceedings to review and decide those challenges. My legal team and I will continue fighting tirelessly to make sure the victims of this abuse are able to tell their stories and the findings of this investigation are made public to the people of Pennsylvania."
Victim advocates have said the report is expected to be the largest and most exhaustive by a U.S. state.
State prosecutors had been expected to release the report before the end of June.
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