Springfield Catholic Diocese to Move Forward with Inquiry into Possible Clergy Abuse

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (SNL) – The Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau plans to launch an independent inquiry going back more than five decades in the wake of reported abuse by priests elsewhere in the U.S.

Leslie Eidson, director of communications for the Springfield-Cape Girardeau diocese, said the inquiry was being launched at the direction of Bishop Edward Rice, whom Pope Francis picked to lead local Catholics in April 2016.

A formal canonical decree asking for the independent examination of all personnel files as well as an open letter from Rice to congregants to be read at all Masses this weekend were in the works, Eidson said.

Earlier Thursday, Archbishop Robert Carlson of the St. Louis diocese announced he was cooperating with Attorney General Josh Hawley’s office in a voluntary review of clergy abuse.

Eidson said the Springfield diocese had not been communicating with Hawley’s office. 

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