The Roman Catholic Diocese of Bridgeport -- in a legal brief filed in Waterbury Superior Court -- admitted that it has secret files detailing 32 allegations of sexual abuse of children by eight priests assigned over the last 40 years to a single parish -- St. Theresa's in Trumbull.

Click here to read the Bridgeport Diocese's Motion To Prevent Disclosure Of Documents

The diocese acknowledged the allegations in an attempt to avoid turning over the files, contained in 126 boxes, to attorneys for Michael Powel, a Connecticut man who was allegedly sexually abused at the parish between 1968 and 1972, first by a landscaper/maintenance man and then allegedly by the Rev. Joseph Gorecki.

"I've never seen this many sexual abuse claims against priests out of one parish,'' New York attorney Michael Reck said Tuesday.

The diocese says that 23 of the abuse claims were made after 1973 and at least three of the claims were made after 1990. The court filing names two of the eight priests – Gorecki and the Rev. John Cataldo.

Powel, who won an earlier lawsuit against Carlo Fabbozzi in which a jury awarded him more than $10 million, died of brain cancer in 2008. The lawsuit was filed on his behalf by the executor of his estate Margaret Jensen.

Fabbozzi was the landscaper for St. Theresa's who worked at the church and the elementary school for more than 30 years. He was fired in 2002 after Powel's original lawsuit was filed.

The lawsuit against the Bridgeport diocese wasn't filed until 2006, after the Fabbozzi suit settled. The suit alleges that Gorecki was in charge at St. Theresa's during part of the time that Fabbozzi was molesting Powel. Instead of supervising the landscaper, Gorecki abused Powel.

The suit alleges that Gorecki abused Powel, who was 12-years-old at the time, once in the boy's bathroom at the St. Theresa's elementary school.

The 13-page court document filed by the diocese attorney Richard Colbert is seeking to have Judge William J. Cremins reverse his previous order that the diocese produce all of the documents for Reck.

The motion argues that any abuse allegations after 1973 are irrelevant to the Powel case and costly to the diocese. "Simply put, thousands upon thousands of dollars should not be spent by the diocese to review these post-incident, unrelated priest irrelevant acts, simple because Michael Powel alleges he was abused one-time for one-minute in the winter of 1971,'' Colbert wrote.

Click here to read the official statement released by the Diocese of Bridgeport