Hawley's investigation overlooks the obvious in church abuse scandal

Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley and his staff said they were conducting an inquiry into clergy sex crimes and cover-ups. But neither of us have heard from them.

One of us is an advocate who has, over the past 30 years, spoken with more clergy sex abuse victims than perhaps anyone anywhere. The other is an attorney who has, over the past 25 years, represented more than 300 people assaulted by Catholic priests, nuns, brothers and seminarians, and has talked to roughly 300 more.

But we’ve essentially gotten silence from the attorney general’s office.

A St. Louis attorney we know, Ken Chackes, has represented more than 100 victims of Catholic predators. He too has not heard from Hawley.

The three of us know nearly all of the nationally recognized experts in this field, including priests, former priests, researchers and writers. None of them, as best we can tell, have gotten a call or email from Hawley’s people.

We think the attorney general’s refusal to respond or reach out to us speaks volumes about his intentions. It’s hard to give Hawley the benefit of the doubt when he refuses to even make a simple phone call to those with considerable knowledge of the scandal in Missouri and have spent years trying to improve it.

Our skepticism about Hawley is apparently shared by others. The New York Times reports that “even some Republicans in Missouri have accused him of being a political opportunist uninterested in his official duties.” And the Post-Dispatch recently quoted a high-ranking veteran of the attorney general’s office as saying “When you yell (investigation announcements) from the mountaintops, it makes one wonder, ‘Is this about yell...

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