Seven states launch investigations in wake of Pennsylvania clergy sex abuse report

By Jack Jenkins

Last month, after Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro unveiled a bombshell 1,300-page grand jury report detailing the alleged sexual abuse of more than 1,000 children in his state by hundreds of Catholic priests, American Catholics called for more investigations into church documents. Some even demanded the federal government step in.

Now law enforcement officials in at least seven states — New York, New Jersey, Nebraska, New Mexico, Florida, Missouri and Illinois — appear to be launching their own inquiries or reviews of Catholic dioceses, often focusing on what Shapiro called secret church files thought to contain decades of allegations of child sex abuse by priests.

On Thursday (Sept. 6), The Associated Press reported that New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood has subpoenaed all eight Roman Catholic dioceses in the state to investigate the church’s handling of sex abuse allegations. New York Archdiocese spokesperson Joseph Zwilling later confirmed to Religion News Service that that diocese has received the subpoena and is “ready and eager to work together with (the attorney general) in the investigation.”

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