Canon lawyers: Guam clergy abuse trials could rip open secret archives

Canon lawyers: Guam clergy abuse trials could rip open secret archives

By Haidee V Eugenio , heugenio@guampdn.com, Pacific Daily News, 

Guam clergy sexual abuse trials could rip open secret archives that every bishop or archbishop is required to keep under canon law, U.S.-based experts on laws governing the Catholic Church said.

The church secret archives contain sensitive records that could pertain to priest misconduct such as their sexual abuse of children, substance abuse and alcoholism, as well as mental health challenges, lawyers said.

Noted canon lawyer Patrick J. Wall said, "Compiling and keeping records of various crimes by clerics, including childhood sexual abuse, is required by the Church’s own rules.”

Wall is a former Catholic priest and Benedictine monk who left the ministry in 1998 after it became apparent he was being used to  . . . 

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