Sacramento, Calif., Dec 12, 2019 / 11:33 am
The office of California's attorney general has informed six dioceses in the state that they will be issued subpoenas as part of a review of child protection policies and procedures.
“To verify that safeguards are effectively in place and are being appropriately implemented to ensure the safety of our children and young people is crucially important and a shared interest,” the Diocese of Fresno, one of those being subpoenaed, said Dec. 10.
Subpoenas are being issued as well to the local Churches of Los Angeles, San Francisco, Sacramento, San Jose, and Orange. The Los Angeles Times reported Dec. 10 that both the Orange and San José dioceses have already received the subpoena orders.
The state's 12 Latin rite dioceses were told in May that attorney general Xavier Becerra would be investigating their handling of sexual abuse allegations involving minors, and they were asked to retain documents related to such allegations.
The six dioceses that will be subpoenaed were also asked to produce documents on the allegations.
The Fresno diocese said it and the other five dioceses have voluntarily cooperated since May with Becerra's office.
“We have worked to accommodate the Attorney General's requests while also following the laws governing the privacy rights of employees, abuse victims and mandated reporters,” it stated. “An abundance of time and resources has already been dedicated to this high-priority undertaking and we will continue to do so until the process can come to completion and accomplishes its goal.”
Bishop Joseph Brennan of Fresno said, “I am committed to fully cooperating with the Attorney General's examination to the best of our ability in accordance with the law.”