US Justice Department investigating Catholic Church in Pennsylvania, Buffalo

The Department of Justice has subpoenaed at least seven of the eight Catholic dioceses in Pennsylvania as pa...

Posted: Oct 19, 2018 1:49 PM
Updated: Oct 19, 2018 1:49 PM

The Department of Justice has subpoenaed at least seven of the eight Catholic dioceses in Pennsylvania as part of an investigation into abuse by priests.

The Archdiocese of Philadelphia, and the dioceses of Allentown, Erie, Greensburg, Harrisburg, Pittsburgh and Scranton acknowledged on Thursday they had received federal subpoenas.

Belief, religion and spirituality

Catholics and catholicism

Christianity

Continents and regions

Law and legal system

North America

Northeastern United States

Pennsylvania

Religious groups

Society

Subpoenas

The Americas

Trial and procedure

United States

Government and public administration

Government bodies and offices

Government departments and authorities

Government organizations - US

Investigations

Justice departments

US Department of Justice

US federal departments and agencies

US federal government

Child abuse

Crime, law enforcement and corrections

Crimes against persons

Criminal offenses

Catholic Church sexual abuse

Child sexual abuse

Criminal law

Grand jury

Philadelphia

Sex crimes

Sexual assault

Sexual misconduct

Buffalo

New York (State)

"The Diocese of Pittsburgh has received the subpoena from the US Department of Justice and will cooperate fully with any and all investigations of the sexual abuse of minors by clergy in Pennsylvania," said spokesman the Rev. Nicholas S. Vaskov.

The department is also looking into the Diocese of Buffalo, New York, a source with knowledge of the federal subpoena told CNN.

Several groups that represent abuse survivors said this appears to be the first federal probe of this size and scope into sexual abuse by Catholic clergy in the United States. A spokesperson for the Department of Justice in Washington declined to comment.

The federal probes come on the heels of a damning grand jury report in Pennsylvania that found credible evidence that 301 "predator priests" abused more than 1,000 children in six dioceses since 1947.

Because the statute of limitations had run out on most of the crimes, only two priests have been charged as a result of the two-year-long investigation.

But the Pennsylvania report has prompted officials in several other states to open inquiries into allegations of sexual misconduct by Catholic clergy.

The Survivors Network of those Abuse by Priests has been asking for a federal investigation into the Catholic Church since 2003, during the church's last widespread scandal of clergy sex abuse.

David Clohessy, SNAP's former national director, said "as best we can tell" this is the first such federal probe into the Catholic Church in the United States targeting clergy sexual abuse. "And it is long overdue."

Dioceses respond

"This subpoena is no surprise considering the horrific misconduct detailed in the statewide grand jury report," said Jerome Zufelt, spokesman for the Diocese of Greensburg.

"Survivors, parishioners and the public want to see proof that every diocese has taken sweeping, decisive and impactful action to make children safer. We see this as another opportunity for the Diocese of Greensburg to be transparent."

The Archdiocese of Philadelphia likewise pledged to cooperate with the probe.

"The Archdiocese of Philadelphia has received a subpoena issued by a federal grand jury, which requires the production of certain documents. The archdiocese will cooperate with the United States Department of Justice in this matter," the archdiocese said.

The Diocese of Allentown said it "is responding to an information request contained in a subpoena from the US Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania," adding, "The diocese will cooperate fully with the request, just as it cooperated fully with the information requests related to the statewide grand jury.

"The diocese sees itself as a partner with law enforcement in its goal to eliminate the abuse of minors wherever it may occur in society."

The Diocese of Erie also confirmed that it had received a subpoena. "Its counsel is in conversation with the Department of Justice. We will have no further comment at this time," a spokeswoman said.

A spokesperson for the US Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia told CNN, "The US Department of Justice generally does not confirm, deny or otherwise comment on the existence or nonexistence of an investigation."

Investigators in Buffalo seek documents about porn, source says

The Justice Department subpoenaed the Buffalo diocese in late May, a source with knowledge of the federal subpoena told CNN.

The source said the subpoena sought diocesan documentation regarding pornography, taking victims across state lines, and inappropriate use of cell phones and social media. The subpoena did not indicate toward what specific end this information was directed, the source said.

Bishop Richard Malone was frustrated the subpoena did not list specific names or the overall reason for the subpoena, the source added. Diocesan lawyers were not able to ascertain any more details despite negotiating to limit the documentation to living priests only, according to the source.

A spokeswoman for the Diocese of Buffalo said it received a request from the US attorney's office several months ago to review documents.

"A subpoena was provided and after some discussion, an agreement was reached to produce documents," communications director Kathy Spangler said. "We have heard nothing since early June. As far as we know, our response has nothing to do with the current Pennsylvania investigation that has just begun."

Barbara Burns, public affairs officer of the US Attorney's Office of the Western District of New York, told CNN by phone that the office cannot confirm nor deny investigations.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 40163

Reported Deaths: 1528
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hennepin12867789
Ramsey5066230
Dakota252494
Stearns244819
Anoka2328111
Nobles16766
Olmsted119617
Washington119040
Mower9722
Rice8628
Scott8034
Clay59838
Kandiyohi5841
Blue Earth5352
Wright5055
Carver4331
Todd4022
Sherburne3405
Lyon3312
Freeborn3020
Watonwan2420
Steele2401
Benton2283
St. Louis20316
Nicollet18712
Martin1715
Cottonwood1380
Goodhue1378
Winona13315
Le Sueur1171
Pine1110
Crow Wing10812
Chisago1031
Otter Tail1021
McLeod960
Dodge930
Carlton890
Polk863
Unassigned8438
Chippewa791
Isanti780
Waseca730
Itasca6812
Douglas670
Murray670
Pipestone664
Meeker621
Morrison611
Faribault600
Becker570
Jackson570
Sibley562
Pennington530
Beltrami410
Brown392
Renville372
Mille Lacs342
Wabasha340
Rock310
Yellow Medicine310
Fillmore300
Houston290
Swift251
Grant220
Norman210
Redwood210
Wilkin213
Cass192
Roseau190
Big Stone170
Koochiching171
Kanabec161
Wadena160
Aitkin150
Marshall120
Pope120
Lincoln110
Clearwater100
Mahnomen101
Hubbard80
Stevens80
Lake60
Traverse60
Lac qui Parle40
Red Lake40
Kittson20
Cook10
Lake of the Woods00

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 33162

Reported Deaths: 740
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Polk6990182
Woodbury328243
Black Hawk239759
Buena Vista172711
Johnson13848
Linn134183
Dallas133031
Marshall106819
Scott92610
Dubuque83422
Story8254
Pottawattamie78012
Wapello71231
Muscatine68344
Crawford6793
Sioux4930
Tama47829
Wright3891
Louisa36313
Plymouth3365
Jasper33217
Warren3001
Dickinson2853
Webster2844
Washington2489
Cerro Gordo2231
Hamilton1931
Boone1601
Clay1431
Clarke1403
Allamakee1354
Clinton1211
Mahaska11817
Shelby1180
Poweshiek1088
Carroll1041
Pocahontas1041
Bremer1027
Franklin990
Des Moines952
Emmet920
Henry903
Hardin880
Cedar851
Cherokee811
Taylor810
Monona770
Marion750
Floyd742
Benton721
Guthrie724
Jones680
Sac650
Osceola640
Iowa621
Jefferson620
Buchanan611
Butler602
Humboldt591
Calhoun582
Hancock571
Harrison560
Delaware541
Fayette540
Lee542
Madison512
Monroe517
Jackson480
Lyon480
Clayton473
Mills460
Palo Alto460
Mitchell430
Winneshiek430
Davis421
Grundy420
Kossuth390
Howard370
Union370
Lucas324
Winnebago310
Chickasaw290
Greene290
Cass270
Ida230
Unassigned220
Appanoose213
Van Buren210
Worth210
Keokuk201
Page200
Adair160
Audubon161
Ringgold151
Decatur120
Montgomery112
Wayne100
Adams80
Fremont80
Rochester
Clear
76° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 76°
Mason City
Clear
78° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 80°
Albert Lea
Clear
75° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 75°
Austin
Clear
77° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 79°
Charles City
Clear
77° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 79°
Cooler air finally filtering in, rain chance returns Saturday
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Latest Video

Image

Mental health resources available

Image

Dave 6:30 7/10 Wx

Image

Shooting investigation underway in Rochester

Image

Advice for safely starting school in the fall

Image

Racial Disparities Regarding Food Security

Image

George Floyd's Family Visits Rochester Mural

Image

Sean's 6pm Weather 7/9

Image

Differences between Covid-19 and other illness

Image

Virtual Thursdays Downtown

Image

Tutors needed in Rochester

Community Events