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PA Justices Elaborate On Decision To Stay Clergy Abuse Report

HARRISBURG, PA (WSKG) -- Days after halting release of a sweeping grand jury report on child abuse by Pennsylvania Roman Catholic clergy, the commonwealth's Supreme Court justices have offered more details on their decision.

They say they're vetting "many" appeals seeking to keep the report secret.

It's still not clear exactly who is appealing against the release. But in a new opinion, justices said several people--not dioceses themselves--are challenging it on constitutional grounds.

Not all the individuals named in the report are indicted, but supervising judge Norman Krumenacker has said the report "may be construed as critical of" some of them.

The justices said in general, the challengers allege their naming "unconstitutionally infringes on their right to reputation and denies them due process."

The court is staying its release to take more time to review those objections.

The grand jury report is expected to be hundreds of pages long, and have significant consequences for the six dioceses is covers.

It would be one of the largest publicly-released reports of its kind in the country.

It covers six of the commonwealth's eight Catholic dioceses. The other two have already received individual reviews.

The state attorney general's office had said the report could be released as soon as the end of this month.

Attorney General Josh Shapiro did not contest justices' decision to hold the report for a short period of time. However, a spokesman said in a statement, "that time is quickly expiring."

As for plaintiffs' attempts to have the report kept from the public, the statement said "The Office of Attorney General stands in total opposition to that position and is fighting with all of its legal ability to ensure the publication of this report."

This story has been updated to include a comment from the Attorney General's office.