The US has for the first time opened a federal investigation into abuse committed by Catholic clergy, issuing a subpoena to dioceses in Pennsylvania two months after the publication of a report on decades of sexual abuse in the state (FRANCISCO NEGRONI)

New York (AFP) – The diocese of Buffalo in New York state acknowledged Friday having received a demand for documents believed to be linked to a federal investigation into sexual abuse.

“Several months ago, we received a call from the local US Attorney’s office with a request to review documents,” the diocese said in a statement, without giving details about what the documents pertained to.

“A subpoena was provided and after some discussion, an agreement was reached to produce documents,” the statement said.

“We have heard nothing since early June,” it said. “As far as we know, our response has nothing to do with the current Pennsylvania investigation that has just begun.”

On Thursday, the US for the first time opened a federal investigation into abuse committed by Catholic clergy, issuing a subpoena to dioceses in Pennsylvania two months after the publication of a report on decades of sexual abuse in the state.

Local media in Buffalo earlier said they had obtained internal messages from the Buffalo diocese dated from May and June and indicating that the attorney’s office had demanded documents related to allegations of clergy sex abuse.

In March this year, the diocese published a list of 42 priests who had been either let go, had retired or had chosen to quit after having charges of sex abuse leveled against them.

Local media estimate that twice that number of priests in Buffalo could face investigation.

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