By Umar Farooq
WASHINGTON (AA) – The U.S. Department of Justice launched an investigation Thursday into allegations of sexual abuse by Roman Catholic clergy members in the state of Pennsylvania.
Multiple dioceses received subpoenas issued by the U.S. Attorney's office in Pennsylvania, including the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and the Diocese of Allentown.
"The Diocese will cooperate fully with the request, just as it cooperated fully with the information requests related to the statewide Grand Jury," the Archdiocese of Philadelphia said in a statement.
The opening of an investigation comes after a Pennsylvania state grand jury released a report in August showing that over 1,000 children had been sexually abused by more than 300 priests of the Catholic Church in Pennsylvania.
Their investigation scoured six church dioceses and found more than 1,000 child victims — boys and girls — and believes the numbers are much higher due to records being lost.
It found priests had not only been sexually abusing children, but the Catholic Church covered up incidents to protect priests and the image of the Church.
"We are sick over all the crimes that will go unpunished and uncompensated. This report is our only recourse. We are going to name their names and describe what they did – both the sex offenders and those who concealed them. We are going to shine a light on their conduct, because that is what the victims deserve," the report said.