Santa Fe, N.M., Jun 7, 2021 / 18:00 pm
While New Mexico’s attorney general has taken credit for securing Catholic Church documents on sex abuse by clergy, saying they will be released to the public soon, a spokesperson for the Las Cruces diocese said it provided the documents voluntarily out of a desire to address the “abhorrent crime” of sex abuse, not because of a search warrant or legal obligation.
“In September of 2018, the New Mexico Attorney General’s Office requested documents related to the potential abuse of children by priests,” a Las Cruces diocese spokesperson told CNA June 7. “The Diocese of Las Cruces immediately began the voluntary process of providing the requested documents. Any statement claiming that a search warrant was presented to the diocese for the requested documents is incorrect, as is the assertion that the Diocese of Las Cruces only responded due to a legal obligation.”
“In fact, the Diocese of Las Cruces fully and freely cooperated with the attorney general's request due to a sincere desire to address any failures from the past and to ensure that future errors would not occur,” the spokesperson said. “Sexual abuse of minors is an abhorrent crime and the Diocese of Las Cruces has no interest in hiding the sins of the past.”
New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas has announced plans to make public documents relating to clergy sex abuse in all three of the state’s Catholic dioceses.