ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (CNS) — Agents from the office of New Mexico’s attorney general executed a search warrant to obtain records from the Archdiocese of Santa Fe regarding at least two former priests credibly accused of child sexual abuse.
The agents were at the archdiocese’s administrative offices in Albuquerque Nov. 28.
Attorney General Hector Balderas was seeking information on Marvin Archuleta and Sabine Griego, according to the archdiocese.
Both men, the archdiocese said in a statement afterward, were among clergy included on a list of priests, deacons, religious and seminarians accused of child sex abuse that first was released in September 2017.
The archdiocese said its staff “worked cooperatively” with the agents.
Meanwhile, Santa Fe Archbishop John C. Wester called all archdiocesan priests to a mandatory meeting the afternoon of Nov. 29, after which he planned to address a news conference.
There was no mention of the meeting’s purpose in a memo sent to the priests, the Albuquerque Journal daily newspaper reported.
Balderas’ office has been investigating clergy sex abuse in the archdiocese and the state’s other two dioceses — Las Cruces and Gallup. In an interview with KOB-TV in October, Balderas said he had “very little patience with this type of abuse” and that his office was prepared to “take legal action, but I am giving the church ample opportunity to step forward and provide a full accounting of information.”
The station reported that an attorney for the archdiocese sent a letter to Balderas after the report aired stating: “Your statements in your televised interview with KOB were aggressive. These comments are harmful to the Archdiocese of Santa Fe.”
Father Griego, according to the station’s report, is accused of sexually assaulting at least 32 children.
In its statement, the archdiocese said it “continues in its commitment to cooperate with and assist law enforcement in the pursuit of justice for all victims of the terrible crime of clergy child sexual abuse.”
“We look forward to continued cooperation with the attorney general and other law enforcement agencies in these efforts, while ensuring compliance with existing court orders to ensure the privacy of victims and innocent parties is protected,” the statement added.
The archdiocese’s 2017 list of those credibly accused of abuse included 74 names, none of whom were in active ministry. Thirty-eight of those listed are deceased.
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