PHILADELPHIA - The U.S. Justice Department has opened an investigation of child sexual abuse inside the Roman Catholic Church in Pennsylvania.
That's according to two people familiar with the probe, who say federal prosecutors have served subpoenas on dioceses across the state that seek a trove of sensitive files and testimony from church leaders.
The two people are not authorized to discuss the investigation and spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.
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The subpoenas follow a state grand jury report in August that detailed hundreds of allegations of children being sexually abused by priests in dioceses across Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania's attorney general concluded that no state charges could be filed because of legal time limits.
In a statement, the Diocese of Pittsburgh confirmed that they are cooperating with the investigation.
“The Diocese of Pittsburgh has received the subpoena from the U.S. Department of Justice and will cooperate fully with any and all investigations of the sexual abuse of minors by clergy in Pennsylvania," the diocese said in a statement.
The Diocese of Greensburg also confirmed that it has been subpoenaed.
“This subpoena is no surprise considering the horrific misconduct detailed in the statewide Grand Jury Report. Survivors, parishioners and the public want to see proof that every diocese has taken sweeping, decisive and impactful action to make children safer. We see this as another opportunity for the Diocese of Greensburg to be transparent."
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