Judge: Sisters need to investigate abuse allegations

Inclusion of two Catholic sisters in a July release of clergy sex abuse documents in the Los Angeles archdiocese highlights a need for sisters' orders to investigate abuse allegations, says a former leader of the lay group set up by the U.S. bishops to monitor the church's sex abuse policies.

"I think what we have learned in the last 10 to 12 years is that this is not a kind of misconduct that is peculiar to Roman Catholic priests," Judge Michael Merz told NCR Aug. 5.

"All the stones need to be turned over," said Merz, a federal district judge in Ohio who served as the chairman of the U.S. bishops' National Review Board from 2007 to 2009. "We need to get this stuff out in the open and deal with it."

Merz's comments were in regard to the July 31 release of personnel and other files of clergy and sisters accused of abuse from five religious orders that have ministered in the Los Angeles archdiocese.

The files were unsealed as part of a $660 million...

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