Judge to Issue Order on Release of LA Archdiocese Personnel Files

The archdiocese is expected to be given 30 days to comply with a judge's order to release personnel files

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    Cardinal Roger Mahony prepares to lead Christmas mass at The Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels December 25, 2010.

    A judge is expected to issue an order Thursday afternoon governing the release of personnel files that include the names of Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles leaders who handled priest abuse cases. 

    Attorneys and the judge concluded a conference call Thursday morning in which they discussed how the 30,000 pages of confidential personnel files will be released. The archdiocese is expected to be given 30 days to comply, but officials might have the documents ready in as soon as one week.

    The files will be provided to attorneys for clergy abuse victims.

    Attorneys for the archdiocese said Wednesday they will not pursue a plan that would have blacked out church leaders' names when the files are released, according to the Associated Press. The move is a reversal of the archdiocese's plan to redact the names, citing privacy rights of priests and others.

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    Internal Catholic Church records show how spiritual leaders attempted to cover up sex abuse cases from law enforcement, long before the clergy abuse scandal become public. Some 26 children are believed to have been molested by a priest at an East Los Angeles church, the files show. Robert Kovacik reports for the NBC4 News at 11 p.m. on Jan. 21, 2013.

    The release of the files followed the archdiocese's agreement to a $660 million settlement with victims in 2007.

    Some of the files were released last week as part of ongoing civil litigation. They revealed a pattern of maneuvers to shield molester church leaders.

    Church lawyers asked this week that the remaining documents be released without the names of top church officials. The Associated Press, Los Angeles Times and victims filed papers in court that claimed the archdiocese's plan violated a previous order that the public was entitled to the information in the personnel files.

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