45 states looking to pursue Catholic church for documents on abuse by priests, Pennsylvania attorney general says
By Kevin Johnson, USA Today
WASHINGTON – Law enforcement officials from up to 45 states have sought assistance from Pennsylvania authorities in pursuit of alleged misconduct by Catholic priests and related efforts to conceal that abuse by the church, Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro said.
Shapiro, in an interview with USA TODAY, said the surge of outside inquiries has come just in the past four months since a landmark state grand jury investigation found that more than 300 "predator" priests had abused at least 1,000 victims across six decades.
Since August, the attorney general said, Pennsylvania authorities have joined forces with their counterparts across the country, helping them craft search warrant applications and grand jury subpoenas.
Fourteen state attorneys general so far have publicly acknowledged that they have launched separate clergy abuse inquiries, while the U.S. Justice Department is in the midst of a broader review disclosed in October by church officials who had received demands for documents.
At the same time, Shapiro said, 1,450 calls have poured into a Pennsylvania hotlin...
50 State AG Call for Grand Jury
Any investigation must be:
- independent of and separate from the church
- must have subpoena powers and ability to compel testimony under oath
Anything short of these criteria is a sham and whitewash.
In addition, write letters to the editor, make phone calls to politicians as they can apply pressure to keep them responsive to our demand. We need to make efforts to ensure that they follow up on what the state is doing to investigate these crimes.
The Attorneys General of forty states have inquired about the grand jury process in Pennsylvania. Let's get statewide investigations going in fifty states.
Note to Letter Writers
Use your own words and style of writing. Cut and paste from the templates as you wish. Include your experiences, whether as a survivor or as a member of the community. And relate your letter to the state you were abused in or state now living in.