More Than 300 'Predator Priests' Named in Redacted Philadelphia Supreme Court Report

Philadelphia's Supreme Court identified more than 300 "predator priests" in a 31-page document on clergy child sexual abuse within six of the state's Roman Catholic dioceses, NBC Philadelphia reported Friday. The official grand jury report on the trial also included accusations of the clergy's attempts to cover-up instances of abuse.

But the names of priests and other members of the clergy will not be released to the public yet. The Supreme Court ruled that it would temporarily black out names of those implicated in the report—which highlighted allegations of decades of abuse and cover-up —after a number of those named argued that revealing them would unfairly dent their reputations and violate their rights to due process.

The state's Attorney General Josh Shapiro had requested that the report be released in full. He was supported by local Catholic dioceses and other members of the community who said that there was no reasonable justification for delaying public identification.

Chief Justice Thomas Saylor said in a statement to that the "subject matter of the report is incendiary, and therefore, the stakes for the individuals reproached therein are substantially heightened." But he noted that the justices were not "of one mind".

A limited version of the document—with the redacted names—is expected to be complete by August 8, which is the same day the report is slated for public release. Scheduled legal arguments from Catholic officials who argue that the names should remain hidden from the public are planned for September.

In a separate incident Saturday, Pope Francis removed one of the most senior Catholic figures in the U.S., Cardinal Theodore McCarrick after the 88-year-old was accused of sexual abuse dating back to the 1970s.

More Than 300 'Predator Priests' Identified in Philadelphia Supreme Court Report
Pope Francis, right, is joined by Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the Archbishop of New York, as he prays at the altar of Saint Elizabeth before the start of evening prayer service at St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York, Thursday, September 24, 2015. More than 300 "predator priests" were identified in a Philadelphia Supreme Court report. REUTERS/Mary Altaffer/AP/POOL