ST. LOUIS - After a months-long legal fight, the Missouri Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that the Archdiocese of St. Louis must reveal the names of priests accused of sexually abusing minors. This all comes on the same day the United Nations is denouncing the Vatican for how they've handled sex abusers.
On the world stage, the Catholic Church is pushing back against the UN's scathing report, but locally, with its legal options appearing to be exhausted, the Archdiocese of St. Louis is giving in, agreeing to reveal priests' names it fought so hard to conceal.
The priests' identities must be provided not to the public, but to lawyers suing on behalf of a female victim.
In a statement following the Missouri Supreme Court's ruling, the archdiocese said, in part, "We appreciate the concern given this case throughout the appellate process, and although we share the disappointment of the many innocent individuals who will be affected by it, the Archdiocese of St. Louis will comply with the court order entered by the Missouri Supreme Court."
It's a victory for victims like Barbara Dorris, assaulted as a child for years by a local priest.
"This isn't a moral failing, this isn't a mistake, this is crimes against children and they need to be investigated by law enforcement," said Dorris.
Meanwhile, a United Nations human rights group Wednesday slammed the Vatican and the Catholic Church hierarchy for what it calls a "code of silence" over decades of priestly sexual abuse, covering up crimes and leading to the continuation of abuse.
The Vatican responded calling the report "distorted and unfair" and said the UN failed to consider measures the church has introduced to protect children.
With the court ruling, the Archdiocese of St. Louis has to comply with a plaintiff's attorney's request for the release of the personal information of victims of clergy sexual abuse and of priests who have been accused of abuse over six decades.