Feds subpoena Catholic dioceses in Pennsylvania clergy sex abuse investigation

Former Erie Diocese Priest David Poulson 64 pleaded guilty to sex crimes involving children on Wednesday

Former Erie Diocese Priest David Poulson 64 pleaded guilty to sex crimes involving children on Wednesday

Poulson was charged earlier this year by a Statewide Investigating Grand Jury probing widespread sexual abuse by clergy against children in six Catholic dioceses in Pennsylvania, including the Diocese of Erie.

The investigation was sparked after a state grand jury issued a scathing report in August finding that more than 300 Catholic priests in the state had sexually abused children over seven decades, protected by a hierarchy of church leaders who covered it up.

The grand jury subpoenas also seek documents stored in "secret archives", "historical archives" or "confidential files", and records related to the dioceses' organizational charts, finances, insurance coverage, clergy assignments, treatment and other documents, according to the people who spoke to the Associated Press.

Dr. Alex McFarland and Christopher Hale on the implications of the sweeping grand jury report about priest sexual abuse in Pennsylvania and how the Catholic Church can begin to make amends.

The U.S. Justice Department has opened an investigation of child sexual abuse inside the Roman Catholic Church in Pennsylvania.

The two people are not authorized to discuss the investigation and spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.

The state is believed to have the highest number of grand jury investigations into child sex abuse in the church nationwide, according to U.S. media.

At the time, Mr. Shapiro said Pennsylvania could not pursue state charges because the statute of limitations had passed in many cases and he was able to prosecute only two priests.

"The Archdiocese of Philadelphia has received a subpoena issued by a federal grand jury, which requires the production of certain documents", a statement read. You're investing resources with potentially no return. McSwain's predecessors have been aggressive in pursuing global "sex tourism" cases in recent years, once bringing teenage boys from the eastern European nation of Moldova to Philadelphia to testify, through translators, about an American businessman who preyed on them. The abuse allegedly was covered up by church leaders. Many other priests are dead. Cardinal Wuerl was not accused of sexual abuse himself.

Over 1,000 children abused by predator priests, with the grand jury noting it believed the real number of victims was in the "thousands". Many accused priests have already died.

The Erie diocese turned over a "confidential memorandum" dated in 2010 that contained an admission by Poulson that he had been "aroused" by a boy, prosecutors said.

"If you were going to file a criminal RICO or a civil RICO, the decision is how much of the leadership do you have to capture?"

Federal government lawyers, called prosecutors, are now taking action. It found that church leaders systematically hid evidence of wrongdoing.

Peter Isely, who was abused and is a spokesman for Ending Clergy Abuse, has been pushing for federal investigation for 15 years. He is awaiting a third trial.

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