Archbishop of the New York Diocese Cardinal Timothy Dolan asked a former judge to conduct an independent investigation into abuse allegations within his own community of churches.
Cardinal Dolan announced that Judge Barbara Jones accepted his invitation to become the diocese’s special counsel and independent reviewer. He explained that Judge Jones will have access to all records, Church personnel, and himself to probe all allegations of abuse by priests, deacons and bishops.
The investigation came after what Cardinal Dolan described as the “Summer of hell” for the Catholic Church.
“This has all left our people bewildered, frustrated, and angry; our good and faithful priests demoralized, and us bishops somber and contrite,” he wrote in a statement.
New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood recently announced her office would launch its own investigation into abuse allegations spanning all Catholic dioceses in the state. A hotline was created for anyone with allegations to come forward, even if it’s not possible to prosecute their case.
According to the Associated Press, subpoenas were issued to all eight New York dioceses for all documents relating to accusations of abuse, investigations done by the Church, and any settlements made.
Attorneys general from New Jersey, Nebraska, Illinois, and Missouri have also launched investigations into their respective dioceses.
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