Diocese of Savannah releases statement on GA Catholic church sex abuse investigation

Updated: May. 1, 2019 at 3:15 PM EDT
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ATLANTA, GA (WALB) - The Diocese of Savannah has issued a statement regarding a third-party investigation into suspected child abuse in the Catholic Church.

"In the spirit of continued transparency and concern over the sexual abuse crisis in the Catholic Church in the United States, Archbishop Wilton Gregory of the Archdiocese of Atlanta and I offered our full support and cooperation to Attorney General Chris Carr for a third party file review of both Georgia dioceses. Attorney General Carr suggested Mr. Peter Skandalakis of the Prosecuting Attorneys Council for this review, and we have all agreed to a Memorandum of Understanding concerning the process. A report will be issued after the review is completed.

I reiterate my genuine concern for all who have been hurt directly or indirectly by abuse of any kind by anyone and I renew my commitment to healing, transparency, and trust. I believe this review is an important step in the long journey forward." — Bishop Gregory J. Hartmayer

The Prosecuting Council of Georgia issued a press release stating the third-party review came from a Jan. 1 meeting.

Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr facilitated the meeting between members of the Prosecuting Attorney’s Council of Georgia, attorneys for the Archdiocese of Atlanta and the Georgia Catholic Conference.

During this meeting, with the consent and cooperation of the Archbishop of Atlanta and the Bishop of Savannah, the Archdiocese of Atlanta and the Diocese of Savannah expressed a willingness to permit the Prosecuting Attorneys’ Council to conduct a third party review of any records, files, documents and reports concerning suspected child abuse in the possession of the Archdiocese of Atlanta and the Diocese of Savannah,"

Any new criminal claims that may come out in the investigation will be redirected to the appropriate district attorney, the release stated.

A report will be issued once the review is done, according to the release.

The Diocese of Savannah includes all South Georgia catholic parishes.

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