Nearly 10,000 pages in internal documents belonging to the Catholic Diocese of San Diego -- unsealed under court order -- reveal a longstanding practice of covering for sexually abusive priests and shuffling them off to other dioceses.
The records are from the personnel files of 48 priests who were either credibly accused or convicted of sexual abuse or were named in a civil lawsuit. They include a decades-old case in which a priest under police investigation was allowed to leave the U.S. after the diocese intervened.
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The files show what the diocese knew about abusive priests, starting decades before any allegations became public, and that some church leaders moved priests around or overseas despite credible complaints against them.