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California attorney general to issue subpoenas to 6 Catholic dioceses in priest abuse inquiry

Alejandra Reyes-Velarde, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Religious News

The attorney general's office is not commenting on the matter and did not answer questions about the subpoenas.

"To protect its integrity, we don't comment on potential or ongoing investigations," officials said in an email to the Times.

The Diocese of Orange said in a statement that it "views the (attorney general) as a partner, not an adversary, in the mutual goal to extinguish abuse; it will strictly comply with its legal obligations; and it appreciates the opportunity to highlight its diligence and efforts in care of the faithful."

The Sacramento Diocese said in a statement last week it had been working with the attorney general's office to provide records for the investigation since May and officials believe the subpoena will "move us toward our shared goal of ensuring that the safeguards in place for our children are working as they should."

"Nobody has anything to hide," Eckery said.

Other state attorneys general have launched Catholic clergy abuse investigations in the wake of new scandals in the last year, including a Pennsylvania report alleging a decadeslong cover-up of child sex abuse involving more than 1,000 victims and hundreds of clergy.

 

An Illinois attorney general's report released in December found that the number of Catholic clergy accused of sexual abuse in that state was much higher than previously acknowledged. The report found 690 clergy accused, although church officials had publicly identified only 185 with credible allegations against them. Churches in California and elsewhere across the nation responded by releasing previously undisclosed names of clergy accused of abuse.

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