The Diocese of Knoxville asked a judge last week to shield documents from the public record, as the diocese fights back against a lawsuit which claims that Bishop Rick Stika covered up an allegation of sexual assault against a seminarian, while defaming the seminarian’s alleged victim.
In a motion filed Jan. 31, the diocese asked the court to seal from public access any subpoenaed documents that pertain to the diocesan review board, to priest meetings of the diocese, and to a Vatican-ordered Vos estis lux mundi investigation in the Tennessee diocese.
Those documents would include diocesan documents, and those which might be subpoenaed from other sources, including the Knoxville clerics who made the Vos estis complaints.
The diocese argued that a protective order is needed for a fair outcome to the lawsuit, because of the prospect that leaked court documents could prejudice an eventual jury.
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