Diocese bankruptcy judge in Delaware approves start of parish sex abuse trials

The judge in the Catholic Diocese of Wilmington's bankruptcy case has ruled that lawsuits against several of it parishes by alleged victims of priest sex abuse can go to trial later this year.

Judge Christopher Sontchi on Friday denied the diocese's request to extend a stay in the bankruptcy case to non-debtor parishes. The diocese argued that the trials should be put on hold while mediation aimed at a global resolution of claims from more than 130 alleged abuse victims continues in the bankruptcy case.

Sontchi had allowed several alleged victims to testify about the abuse in response to the diocese's motion. They said they wanted their day in court.

A spokesman for the diocese did not immediately respond to request for comment.