Los Angeles County Judge Emilie Elias ruled on Thursday that media organizations can intervene to oppose redactions in the personnel files of priests accused of sex abuse in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles.
The ruling allows the Associated Press and the Los Angeles Times to argue against the redactions at a Jan. 7 hearing.
The Los Angeles archdiocese plans to release the files by Jan. 14 under the terms of a previous judge's order, which allows it to black out the names of some accused clerics and all church officials.
The media attorneys argued that such broad redactions would make it impossible to know which church leaders were aware of abuse and what they did with that knowledge.
They argue the public interest outweighs the priests' privacy rights.