Bishop Will Not Appeal Order for Abuse Records

By Brooks Egerton
The Dallas Morning News [Fort Worth TX]
August 12, 2006

Bishop Kevin Vann of the Fort Worth Catholic Diocese said Friday that he would not appeal a court order requiring release of records about seven priests accused of sexual abuse. But the records remain sealed while the clergymen and their representatives decide whether to appeal. Their decision could come as early as Monday. The Fort Worth Diocese originally surrendered the documents in litigation with accusers of an eighth priest, but it persuaded Judge Len Wade to shield the material from the public. The Dallas Morning News and the Fort Worth Star-Telegram later argued successfully that the sealing violated Texas litigation rules. In announcing his decision not to appeal, Bishop Vann apologized to abuse victims and said he hoped to promote healing and justice. His attorney would not say whether the diocese was paying for other lawyers to represent the seven priests. Those lawyers did not respond to requests for comment Friday.


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