Letter from Attorney General to the Diocese

Click here to view the letter and supporting documents online:

Bishop James S. Wall
Diocese of Gallup P.O.
Box 1338 Gallup, NM 87305
Email: officeofbishop@dioceseofgallup.org

Re: Office of the Attorney General’s investigation of sexual abuse by priest(s), clergy member(s), or other church official(s) and individuals alleged to have aided, abetted or conspired to conceal sexual abuse

Dear Bishop Wall, I am writing to express my continued concern and assert that it is time to demand full disclosure and full transparency. I am focusing my efforts on assisting the victims of clergy sexual abuse.

Since March of 2016, my office has engaged in several investigations of priests alleged to have perpetrated sexual abuse. Further, my office advanced legislation during the 2018 Legislative Session to amend child abuse reporting statutes to expand mandatory reporting to include abuse perpetrated by priests. Then on August 14, 2018, a Pennsylvania Grand Jury report was released, revealing ties to New Mexico, and

shaking the conscience of those throughout the world by detailing the vast extent of sexual abuse perpetrated by priests and clerics and the shocking coverup by church leaders. His Holiness, Pope Francis, in his August 20, 2018 letter, condemned these atrocities and recognized the importance of efforts to make, “all those who perpetrate or cover up these crimes accountable.”

Like the majority of cases referenced in the most recent Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report, statutes of limitations prevented my office from moving forward with criminal charges. However, similar to you, I share the belief that “Any complacency or silence in answer to misconduct must not be tolerated.”

As you referenced in your August 22, 2018 letter, to the Diocese of Gallup, regarding these crimes of sexual abuse committed by clergy, “We must recognize, in no uncertain terms, that the actions of abusive clerics and the bishops who sheltered them are not merely shameful, but evil.” Seeking justice for anyone victimized remains a priority for my office.

To that end, and in the interest of long overdue transparency, this demand is being sent to you in contemplation of litigation. All documents and/or other data which relate to either the subject matter of this demand in general or the requests of this demand in particular must be preserved. Any destruction involving such documents must cease, even if it is your normal or routine course of business to delete or destroy such documents or data and even if you believe such documents or data are privileged or otherwise need not be produced. Thank you for your cooperation.

Sincerely,

Hector Balderas
Attorney General

Editor’s Note: For the list of supporting documents, click here: http://gallupindependent.nm.newsmemory.com/?special=Diocese