Catholic Dioceses in Pennsylvania Face Federal Inquiry Into Sexual Abuse

Source: The New York Times

By Campbell Robertson and Elizabeth Dias

ERIE, Pa. — The Justice Department has opened an investigation into Roman Catholic dioceses in Pennsylvania accused of covering up sex abuse for decades, a significant escalation in scrutiny of the church.

The inquiry is believed to be the first statewide investigation by the federal government of the church’s sex abuse problems. And it comes two months after the Pennsylvania attorney general’s office released an explosive grand jury report charging that bishops and other church leaders had covered up the abuse of more than 1,000 people over a period of more than 70 years.

Seven of the eight dioceses in the state, Philadelphia, Erie, Harrisburg, Scranton, Pittsburgh, Greensburg and Allentown all said they had received federal grand jury subpoenas from the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania requesting documents. The eighth, Altoona-Johnstown, did not respond to a request for comment.

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