BALTIMORE (AP) — The Catholic archdiocese in Baltimore has delivered over 50,000 pages of internal files to Maryland’s top law enforcement official amid an investigation into child sex abuse and is in the process of handing over more, church leaders announced Tuesday.
Archbishop William Lori described the clergy sex abuse scourge that’s been rocking the church as a “genuine crisis” and said Baltimore’s archdiocese is “working very hard to cooperate” with Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh’s investigation. Lori asserted that any credible allegations have long been sent to the attorney general’s office so their hope is the documents “will be helpful in the process of being transparent and forthright about all of this.”
“For quite some time, certainly going back to 2002 if not before, every time we’ve had a credible accusation we have sent that not only to local law enforcement but also to the attorney general’s office. So there was already a lot on file from us,” Lori said at a Tuesday gathering for reporters at the archdiocese’s headquarters, situated across from the first Roman Catholic cathedral built in the United States.
Bishop Adam Parker, the archdiocese’s chief of operations, told reporters that they are preparing and delivering decades-old church files to the attorney general’s office on a rolling basis. He said there haven’t been any recent allegations within the archdiocese.
“There are specific files that they have asked to see, and our internal team is in the process of gathering them,” said Parker, who described the work as a “very significant undertaking” for the archdiocese and estimated the total number of pages already turned over at more than 50,000.
The Tuesday press gathering at the archdiocese comes days after Frosh announced a phone hotline for victims to report child sex abuse associated with a place of worship or school. Unlike attorneys general in several states who have announced probes into clergy sex abuse, Frosh’s office will only say it doesn’t confirm or deny the existence of any investigation.
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