Priest Accuses Fort Worth Diocese of Hiding Abuse

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A former church lawyer is accusing the Fort Worth Catholic Diocese of shielding eight priests accused of sexual abuse.

The Reverend Thomas Doyle says his review of diocese files revealed that church officials did not report victims' allegations to police and reassigned known abusers.

Doyle filed a sworn statement yesterday in state district court as part of a legal effort to unseal diocese files on seven priests accused of sexual misconduct.

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports that Doyle is one of only a few people outside the diocese to view the priests' files. Church officials want to keep the files confidential.

A diocese official declined comment yesterday.

Doyle's statement was filed along with statements from eight alleged victims and another expert. A hearing is set for next week to determine whether the files should be opened.