Diocese Wants Suit Alleging it Hired Pedophiles Thrown Out

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) – A Catholic diocese and its former bishop want a judge to throw out a West Virginia lawsuit that claims they knowingly employed pedophiles.

Attorneys for the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston and Bishop Michael Bransfield last week filed a motion to dismiss the suit brought by state Attorney General Patrick Morrisey.

The lawsuit alleges the diocese and Bransfield employed admitted sexual abusers and priests credibly accused of child sexual abuse without adequate background checks. Morrisey brought the suit under the state’s consumer credit and protection act, which several attorneys said is a first-of-its kind move.

Lawyers for the diocese and Bransfield are arguing that the attorney general has failed to show they violated the consumer credit and protection act.

Morrisey says the diocese’s motion lacks merit and said he’ll respond in court.