Catholic Diocese of Wilmington priests under investigation

DOVER — Delaware’s Department of Justice has confirmed that it is investigating potential criminal conduct by priests or other personnel of the Catholic Diocese of Wilmington.

Officials said Thursday that the investigation has focused on acquiring and reviewing diocesan papers for records of sexual abuse or other abuse.

As part of the investigation, authorities issued a subpoena on Sept. 11 for a wide range of diocesan records spanning a period of decades.

Delaware authorities previously reviewed some records provided by the diocese from 2002 to 2004. They issued the recent subpoena in light of the disclosures of clergy abuse investigations in other states, including neighboring Pennsylvania and Maryland.

Bob Krebs, a spokesman for the diocese, did not immediately return a phone message Thursday.

According to the DOJ in a news release, “The purpose of the review is to determine whether there are any prosecutable criminal cases that may have not come to light in previous reviews of information provided by the diocese.

“The Delaware Department of Justice reviewed some records provided by the diocese in the timeframe of 2002 to 2004, but issued a subpoena approximately seven weeks ago in light of the disclosures in investigations by other jurisdictions.”

The DOC asked potential victims of abuse by diocesan personnel to contact 577-5293 or to provide information to prosecutors and investigators as part of this review.

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