US Attorney William McSwain tells bishops to preserve evidence in secret archives
DETROIT (ChurchMilitant.com) – The federal government is ordering every U.S. bishop to preserve documents related to clerical sex abuse. The move signals the possibility of a much wider federal criminal probe into the Catholic Church than is currently taking place.
A seven-page letter sent Oct. 9 by U.S. Attorney William McSwain to Cdl. Daniel DiNardo, president of the U.S. bishops’ conference, requests the “officers, directors, employees, agents, and representatives” of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) “to preserve the documents described in the enclosure to this letter.”
The enclosure refers, among other things, to all evidence kept in diocesan “secret archives,” reserved for allegations of clerical misconduct, including sex abuse.
“I request that these documents be preserved in their current form and condition, and not be destroyed, discarded, disposed of, deleted, or altered in any way,” McSwain writes.
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