Two additional states in the US are to launch investigations into clergy sex abuse.
The Attorney Generals of Illinois and Missouri have announced they are to look into the issue in Chicago, St Louis and other dioceses in the wake of the Grand Jury report from Pennsylvania that found 300 priests had abused at least 1000 children over seven decades.
Josh Hawley, Attorney General of Missouri, told reporters in a conference call: "Today, I have received a letter from the archbishop confirming that he and the archdiocese will open to my office their files and will allow us to conduct a thorough, impartial review of potential clergy abuse in the Archdiocese of St. Louis.
“So we intend to gather extensive evidence from the church, as well as from victims and their families and other persons who are not associated with the archdiocese. At the conclusion of this investigation, my office will issue a formal report setting out our findings. That report will also include any charging recommendations based on the evidence we discover in our investigation,” he said, according to KansasCity.com.
Under Missouri law, his office does not have jurisdiction to prosecute any criminal acts of this kind of issue issue subpoenas.
In Illinois, ABC7 I-Team reported that Attorney General Lisa Madigan will open an inquiry into all six dioceses in the state. She said in a statement: "The Catholic Church has a moral obligation to provide its parishioners and the public a complete and accurate accounting of all sexually inappropriate behaviour involving priests."