St. Louis archdiocese agrees to open files to AG's office
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley said the Archdiocese of St. Louis has agreed to open its files for an investigation of potential clergy abuse.
Hawley told reporters in a teleconference Thursday that he is asking the three other Catholic dioceses in Missouri to similarly open their files. Representative of the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph and the Diocese of Jefferson City pledged cooperation with any investigation by the attorney general.
In a letter to Hawley, Jefferson City's Bishop Shawn McKnight said the Diocese of Jefferson City did an internal review of its clergy in June and already had plans to release the report. McKnight said the Diocese will stop efforts on the release and welcomes Hawley's team.
A message seeking comment from the Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau was not immediately returned.
Hawley's announcement came amid renewed concerns that followed the release of a report in Pennsylvania citing abuse of more than 1,000 children by hundreds of priests since the 1940s, along with cover-up by church leaders.