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More states probe Catholic abuse record

The Archdiocese of New York Associated Press/Photo by Richard Drew

More states probe Catholic abuse record

New York and New Jersey launched investigations Friday into the Roman Catholic Church’s handling of sex abuse allegations. Three weeks after a grand jury report found rampant sexual abuse of children by priests in Pennsylvania since the 1940s, Catholic leaders in New York and New Jersey said they would cooperate with authorities. The New York Archdiocese confirmed it received subpoenas and vowed to work with state Attorney General Barbara Underwood.

“[Underwood] will find the archdiocese of New York, and the other seven dioceses in the state, ready and eager to work together with her in the investigation,” New York archdiocese spokesman Joseph Zwilling said.

Albany Bishop Edward Scharfenberger on Thursday had already asked Albany County District Attorney David Soares to review his diocese’s records before the subpoenas arrived, he said. “We have to do what is right, even if it is not easy,” Scharfenberger wrote to parishioners regarding the request.

New Jersey’s Catholic Conference said it welcomed the investigation and would “fully cooperate.” The conference said that since 2002 the church has complied with a memorandum of understanding with the New Jersey attorney general and prosecutors that abuse complaints would be forwarded to law enforcement. New York and New Jersey join Nebraska, Illinois, and Missouri, which also announced investigations after the Pennsylvania report came out.

Rachel Lynn Aldrich

Rachel is a former assistant editor for WORLD Digital. She is a Patrick Henry College and World Journalism Institute graduate. Rachel resides with her husband in Wheaton, Ill.

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