ALBANY, GA (WALB) - WALB confirmed a state official’s investigation into past sexual abuse claims within the Catholic Church in Georgia.
Just last year, a similar investigation in Pennsylvania led to hundreds of priests being identified, accused of molesting at least 1,000 Pennsylvania minors in the past 70 years.
It’s not clear whether the Georgia investigation will have similar repercussions.
It’s that grand jury report out of Pennsylvania that has sparked the global investigation into child abuse in the Catholic Church. An investigation that is now taking place right here in Georgia, as well.
Attorney General Chris Carr is now spearheading an investigation into the Archdiocese of Atlanta and the Diocese of Savannah.
Carr said his office’s number one concern is making sure victims know they are being heard.
“Anybody who has abused a child or has covered it up, needs to be held accountable. Only then will justice be done,” said Carr.
Carr said his office won’t stop until it uncovers the truth about the child abuse allegations in the Catholic Church.
The Prosecuting Attorney’s Counsel (PAC) will do a third party investigation and third-party review into the Archdiocese of Atlanta and the Diocese of Savannah.
“Look at the files, look at any allegations that have been made to ensure that any instances of abuse and any reports of abuse were properly handled,” Carr said.
The Archdiocese of Atlanta released a list of 15 priests, deacons and seminarians credibly accused of sexual abuse of a child back in November.
The Diocese of Savannah said in a statement Carr’s office and the PAC have the Diocese’s full support and cooperation. Saying, “I believe this review is an important step in the long journey forward.”
“Victims need to know that they’re being heard, their story matters and they have somebody who’s got their back and that’s what we’re trying to do,” said Carr.
WALB did reach out to St. Theresa's Catholic Church in Albany for a comment.
They referred us to the Diocese of Savannah’s statement.
Carr also said they’ll spend as much time on the investigation as they need to.