New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood subpoenaed all eight of the state’s Roman Catholic dioceses and its only archdiocese Thursday as part of a larger probe into alleged church attempts to cover up endemic clerical sexual abuse. The subpoenas reportedly ask for documents pertaining to allegations of sexual abuse, internal church allegations, and payments made to alleged victims, and will focus especially on the Buffalo diocese. A spokesperson for the Buffalo diocese told The Buffalo News that they would not challenge the investigation.
At the same time, New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal established a task force to begin a similar investigation into the state’s four dioceses. Both Underwood and Grewal announced on Thursday that they had established clergy abuse hotlines, so victims can share their experiences with investigators. These investigations come three weeks after the explosive release of Pennsylvania’s grand-jury report, which alleged that more than 300 predator-priests abused more than 1,000 children. Unlike Pennsylvania, New York does not allow the attorney general to call a grand jury. Underwood has said, however, that she plans to work with district attorneys who have the power to do so.