Canon lawyers: Guam clergy abuse trials could rip open secret archives
By Haidee V Eugenio
Guam clergy sexual abuse trials could rip open secret archives that every bishop or archbishop is required to keep under canon law, U.S.-based experts on laws governing the Catholic Church said.
The church secret archives contain sensitive records that could pertain to priest misconduct such as their sexual abuse of children, substance abuse and alcoholism, as well as mental health challenges, lawyers said.
Noted canon lawyer Patrick J. Wall said, "Compiling and keeping records of various crimes by clerics, including childhood sexual abuse, is required by the Church’s own rules.”
Wall is a former Catholic priest and Benedictine monk who left the ministry in 1998 after it became apparent he was being used to . . .
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.