Of course, this is not the first time that the Archdiocese has sought to protect its information from disclosure, especially information that could be perceived as detrimental to the Archdiocese or its leadership. I am sure that you recall the (unsuccessful) motions filed in court last year to try and block the releases of the names of accused clergy and also the deposition of Archbishop Nienstedt. These arguments generally repeated the Archdiocesan mantra that such actions would cause 'irreparable harm to the Archdiocese and its clergy'. For instance, the Archdiocese challenged an earlier court decision requiring it to disclose the names of all clergy accused of sexual abuse of minors after 2004, arguing that it was obligated to 'vigorously defend the rights of clergy members who have been the subject of false, frivolous or malicious claims against them'. We now know that this attempt included files such as that of Father William Stolzman.
It may have been this connection between the Archdiocese's expensive and exhaustive attempts to protect 'its' information (based on arguments that to do otherwise violated 'the Archdiocese's constitutional due process, equal protection and free exercise rights of the United States Constitution'), and Father Stolzman that called to my mind the contrast between the Archdiocese's aggressive legal protection of clergy and settlement records and its laissez faire attitude towards the records of the lay faithful, and in particular the sacramental records of Catholics in this Archdiocese.