PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Survivors of alleged child sex abuse by clergy have filed a federal lawsuit against Catholic bishops in Pennsylvania.
They’re trying to force the bishops to reveal the names and history accused, saying it’s time to hold the church accountable.
There is more fallout in the wake of the ongoing Pennsylvania archdiocese sex abuse scandal.
A new lawsuit filed hopes to protect more victims and we’ve heard from one of those victim’s Thursday.
Daniel Hillibrand is speaking publicly for the first time sharing his story of alleged sexual abuse at the hands of a Catholic bishop in Philadelphia when he was just 12 years old.
“If I can help anybody else come forward, if it gives another victim courage to come forward and mainly protect anything happening in the future, mainly to protect the children in the future,” said Hillibrand.
Hillibrand was flanked by his wife and attorneys. He’s one of two survivors named in a lawsuit filed in Philadelphia which uses public hazard nuisance laws to try to force Pennsylvania bishops to disclose known histories and identities of clergy accused of sexually abusing children.
“Those secrets are not just the names of predatory priests who are offenders who have worked in their diocese, but also the histories of those predatory priests who have molested children in their diocese,” said an attorney.
The demand by these attorneys for transparency included a picture of eight Pennsylvania bishops presiding over dioceses across the state, including Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput.
“What has this archbishop, the head of the bishops in Pennsylvania, chosen to do in the present and the past,” added the attorney.
Archbishop Chaput announced on Nov. 8 that the Philadelphia Archdiocese is creating a new reparations program, the Independent Reconciliation and Reparations Program.
It is open to anyone abused by clergy in the archdiocese, but attorneys involved in this latest lawsuit allege it’s not enough.
“This lawsuit is for conspiracy to conceal a known hazard also known as a nuisance. It is designed not to claim money damaging but to expose those dangerous secrets,” said the attorney.
CBS3 reached out to the Philadelphia Archdiocese and they say they have not seen this latest lawsuit and would not comment on pending litigation.