Symbolic image Justice in the USA © Sergii Gnatiuk (shutterstock)
Six of the twelve dioceses in the U.S. state of California are preparing to be subpoenaed by prosecutors in connection with abuse cases in the near future. This was confirmed by the spokesman of the Sacramento diocese, Kevin Eckery.
Attorney General Xavier Becerra had asked all twelve dioceses in May to keep all documents related to abuse allegations against priests. Six of them were also asked to submit files. These include the archdioceses of Los Angeles and San Francisco, and the dioceses of Sacramento, Fresno, San Jose and Orange.
The expected subpoenas are about how dioceses have handled abuse allegations against priests, the diocese spokesman explained. He said the church is committed to "fully record the past sins of sexual abuse by clergy and to do everything possible to ensure that such things are never repeated".
New law on lawsuits
The attorney general had previously asked all victims of sexual abuse to contact his office. On 1. January, a new law goes into effect in California that extends the time window of lawsuit claims by abuse victims. Victim advocates expect against this background with a new flood of complaints. So far, the California dioceses alone have paid several hundred million dollars in compensation.