Judge rules for ex-priest in Diocese bankruptcy case

By Associated Press 2:24am, December 19, 2012
A federal judge has ruled in favor of an ex-priest who challenged a ban on future payments to accused pedophile priests as part of the Catholic Diocese of Wilmington's bankruptcy plan.

Judge Sue Robinson ruled Tuesday that the bankruptcy judge went too far in refusing to confirm the diocese's reorganization plan unless it prohibited payments to priests publicly identified by the late Bishop Michael Saltarelli as child abusers. One of those priests, Kenneth Martin, challenged the ban on benefit payments.

Robinson said good intentions do not trump the rule of law, and that the bankruptcy judge imposed the ban without referring to any evidentiary requirements. She said the letter from Saltarelli identifying pedophile priests was not a legal document and should not have been admitted in the bankruptcy case.

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