D.C. attorney general opens inquiry into sexual abuse by Catholic priests in Washington

Oct 24, 2018

By Peter Jamison and Michelle Boorstein

D.C. Attorney General Karl A. Racine said Tuesday that his office has begun an investigation of sexual abuse by Catholic clergy in the Archdiocese of Washington, the latest in a string of state-level law enforcement officials now looking into the Catholic Church’s handling of abuse complaints.

The investigation, announced by Racine at a regularly scheduled breakfast among the District’s elected officials, will bring scrutiny to Catholic leaders who have come under intense criticism in recent months.

Pope Francis accepted Cardinal Donald Wuerl’s resignation this month as Washington’s archbishop amid an uproar over a Pennsylvania grand jury report that depicted systemic abuse in the Catholic Church across the state, including in Pittsburgh, where Wuerl had been a bishop.

Former cardinal Theodore McCarrick, Wuerl’s predecessor at the Washington Archdiocese, was removed from ministry in June amid allegations that he had sexually abused a teenager decades ago while serving as a priest in New York.

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