USA- TheTablet.co.uk reports that the investigation into Pennsylvania’s eight Catholic dioceses is potentially expanding after the United States Attorney William McSwain stated that all Catholic Dioceses across the country must not destroy any documents that contain information about potential illegal activities.
The request acknowledges that the church has a history of moving predatory priests over state lines and sometimes internationally as part of its efforts to cover up the massive sexual abuse scandal. The letter requests that any documents pertaining to sexual abuse be held along with anything from the “secret archives” contained in all dioceses and personnel files. The letter did not request that the church provide any documentation at this time, but rather sought to ensure that all information is preserved.
According to experts, the Catholic Church keeps extensive and detailed records, and the request to maintain these documents applies to massive amounts of information. If the Church chooses to destroy any of the documents, it will now face possible criminal sanctions.
For survivors of abuse, the move is welcomed as a sign that the government is finally working to expose the individuals who abused children.
Along with the investigation into the Pennsylvania dioceses, the government is looking into the diocese in Buffalo after whistleblowers exposed the cover-up efforts taken by Bishop Richard Malone. According to one former employee, the 42 publicly named priests accused of sex abuse are just a fraction of the 118 that had been credibly accused.
Another whistleblower stated that about eight or nine of the currently serving priests in that ministry ought to have been removed because of accusations of abuse.
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