Washington bishops vs. state AG: Who has a point?

(The Pillar. Ed. Condon).

The Washington state attorney general is seeking a court order to enforce a sweeping subpoena of Church records from the state’s three dioceses, claiming the bishops are obstructing an investigation into historical instances of clergy sex abuse.

The Archdiocese of Seattle and the Dioceses of Spokane and Yakima have issued blunt responses, insisting the AG is acting unconstitutionally and has rejected good faith offers to cooperate.

Washington is the twenty-third state AG’s investigation into Catholic dioceses, and similar investigations elsewhere have generated pushback from bishops, Church officials and lawyers — including allegations of political targeting of the Church, unconstitutional behavior, and political posturing. 

But in other instances, those investigations have also led to the painful uncovering of decades of mishandling of cases, cover ups, and major settlements for victims.

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