Boston Archdiocese Asking for Lawsuits to Be Dismissed
Church Says First Amendment Protects It from Courts [Boston MA]
Downloaded March 21, 2003

BOSTON -- The Boston Archdiocese has asked an Appeals Court judge to intervene in clergy sex abuse cases filed by alleged victims before they go before a jury.

The archdiocese argues that because of the First Amendment, civil courts should not get involved in issues of whether church leaders were negligent in supervising and assigning priests.

Superior Court Judge Constance Sweeney rejected the same argument in a pre-trial motion last month.

Nearly 500 plaintiffs have sued the church and its leaders, arguing that the archdiocese should not have assigned known or suspected child abusers to new parishes without warning the parishioners.

Church spokeswoman Donna Morrissey said the archdiocese continues to negotiate with alleged victims, and still hopes for a resolution.


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