Proceedings Sealed in Efforts to Block Attorney General Report in Maryland, SNAP Responds
In a setback for efforts towards transparency and justice for clergy abuse survivors in Maryland, a judge today made the decision to seal the ongoing proceedings that will decide whether or not a recently-completed attorney general report into sexual abuse in the Archdiocese of Baltimore will be publicly released. While we lament this decision, we hope that this does not signal the end of the road for the Maryland report and that it will still be publicly released soon.
“We lost this skirmish but the battle to release the report goes on,” said David Lorenz, leader of SNAP Maryland. “The problem is that we now don't have insight into what objections are being made and therefore can't make counter arguments.”
By sealing the proceedings, the public will no longer know who is involved in arguing for or against the report in court. This move comes after Archbishop William William Lori of the Archdiocese of Baltimore pledged that he and his Archdiocese would not fight against the release of the report. Less than a week later, an archdiocesan-funded group petitioned to seal the report, and now the battle over the eventual release is ongoing.
In our view, the Church funded opposition to this report is yet another example of how Catholic officials claim to want to do right by survivors and protect children, but do the opposite through their actions. It is unconscionable for Archbishop Lori to lie so blatantly and so easily to the public. Sadly we are not surprised: this is, after all, the man who scrubbed mention of his own wrongdoing in a report regarding a disgraced former bishop. We should not be surprised at just how far Archbishop Lori will go to protect his reputation and his Archdiocesan coffers.
We hope that, despite this setback, concerns over public safety and the rights of survivors will win out and the report will be published. We know that, without the intervention of secular authorities, transparency would never have been possible in the first place. We stand with A.G. Frosh’s team as they work on behalf of children and survivors in Maryland.
CONTACT: David Lorenz, SNAP Maryland leader ([email protected], 301-906-9161), Becky Ianni, Virginia and DC SNAP leader ([email protected], (703) 801-6044), Mike McDonnell, SNAP Communications ([email protected], 267-261-0578), Zach Hiner, Executive Director ([email protected], 517-974-9009)
(SNAP, the Survivors Network, has been providing support for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings for 30 years. We have more than 25,000 survivors and supporters in our network. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)