New York Attorney General Subpoenas All Catholic Diocese In The State


The Attorney General of the state of New York Barbara Underwood has subpoenaed all Roman Catholic dioceses in the state as part of a civil investigation into the accusations of sex abuse and cover-ups by church leaders, requesting documents and testimony.

The subpoenas were issued to the 8 dioceses in the New York, including the Archdiocese of New York, and the dioceses of Albany, Brooklyn, Rochester, Syracuse, Buffalo, Ogdensburg and Rockville Center.

“The Pennsylvania grand jury report shined a light on incredibly disturbing and depraved acts by Catholic clergy, assisted by a culture of secrecy and cover-ups in the dioceses,” Underwood said in a statement announcing the hotline. “Victims in New York deserve to be heard as well – and we are going to do everything in our power to bring them the justice they deserve.

The subpoenas seek documents relating to abuse allegations, payments to victims or findings from internal church investigations, according to a law enforcement source familiar with the investigation but not authorized to speak publicly.

The Bishop of Albany, Most Rev. Edward Scharfenberger, said on Thursday that he had pre-emptively asked Albany’s district attorney to review the diocese’s records of handling sexual abuse cases. In a letter to parishioners, Bishop Scharfenberger said his decision to contact law enforcement “is necessary and ultimately will result in much good, but [is] one that is likely to be difficult and incredibly challenging for us for the foreseeable future.”

Archdiocese of New York spokesman Joseph Zwilling said that the archdiocese has not seen the subpoena but is “ready and eager” to comply with a civil investigation.

As was the case in Pennsylvania, most of the allegations in New York date back decades, and due to the statute of limitations on sex crimes, and therefore cannot lead to criminal prosecutions. Underwood’s office advised that any victims who report abuse in New York are also likely to find that the crimes are no longer prosecutable under state law.

In the Pennsylvania report, all but two of the accusations happened before 2002 when the Church instituted sweeping changes to address sexual abuse by clergy.

According to various reports, other states are planning similar actions, including Missouri, Ohio, New Jersey, New Mexico, Kentucky, Nebraska, and others.

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  1. The State’s alleged concern for victims of child abuse would be meaningful if they were also instituting investigations of Child Protective Services, public schools, day care centers etc, etc. As it stands it’s obvious there’s no actual
    concern for children in any of this- just jumping on the bandwagon posturing to get your name in print.

    • I agree with your statement regarding the secular world and their motivations. But regardless of their reasons for doing this, the filth and rot in the clergy and church hierarchy must be brought into the light and removed, sothat the Church can become the Holy institution she is called to be.

  2. This is a start. We must clean out the evil & their doers in the Church to begin with & then in society. The Catholic Church always set the bar for behavior in the past. It must be clean to take that position again & then to change society to become as virtuous as those in the Church. You cannot give something away that you do not possess. It will take a loooong time. Run to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament & in Adoration & in prayer & fasting, if even for 5 minutes. Jesus will give the graces for more if we just start.

  3. The world needs to take a long hard look at these kind of men these kind of men the world voted yes to and we have to live with this wat dose the law say live and let live don’t judge now look at wat as happened . I think there is more to all this than wat we no and there is a motive behind this

  4. We as a the living body of Christ should always welcome independent audit, review and maybe even request the respective DA’s to do periodic random investigations of our Catholic institutions, Schools, Hospitals, Churches, Ministries etc. We need to be transparent, cooperate with Law Enforcement to bring to justice ANY AND ALL child abusers and molesters, regardless of their rank in the Clergy, Religious life, Teacher, Care Giver, or Civilian that we may have reason to believe are predators. In Phoenix, the Diocese has the call to PROTECT program (that reminds me I need to renew mine) that requires all whom work with children, even down to the volunteer level to be screened and attend yearly class on how to identify potential child predators, along with policy and procedure to be able to report such potential abuse.
    Regardless of how worse the secular areas are (Public Schools, Child Protective Services, Pediatricians, ETC) We the Church need to be a beacon of hope, and allow for full investigations of all of our Diocese and institutions not only in the US but WORLD WIDE. I All of us Clergy, Religious and Civilian Folks all agree that we should never try to protect abusers in any way, we should allow the proper authorities to do their job. For those that CAN be prosecuted let them be, for those where the statue of limitations has run out and are proven to be abusers, the Church should identify how they will deal with them and make it publicly known… and Finally for those that have been accused and are found INNOCENT, then the Church along with all it’s members should shout for the media, DA’s, and other groups to be as vocal in their APOLOGY as they were when they accused said innocent.

  5. How will this help the victims? Some of these vile actions happened years ago and never were reported. Some have left the faith over this and also turned away God’s grace. These are the people who need help not some lawyer’s pocket lined with settlement cash. The politicians are always out to help us. Really, how does this help a victim of sexual abuse?
    Why are they not going after the real abusers the school workers? I personally know of six teachers fired for abuse. The left and are teaching in another state. There no money if they take it out of a school district, only the taxpayer loses.


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