Victims’ group pressures Missouri’s governor to intervene in clergy abuse concerns

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Gov. Mike Parson

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – A victims’ support group is putting pressure on Missouri’s governor to intervene in a state investigation of potential clergy abuse, but Gov. Mike Parson’s office says he doesn’t have the authority to act at this point.

Missouri leaders of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests in a Wednesday letter asked Parson to order Attorney General Josh Hawley to conduct a full criminal investigation.

That’s because while Hawley’s office is currently investigating, he doesn’t have subpoena power to force Catholic dioceses to provide information. He could issue subpoenas in a criminal investigation.

But Hawley spokeswoman Mary Compton says local prosecutors have not asked for help investigating potential abuse. Parson’s spokeswoman Kelli Jones says until that happens, the governor doesn’t have the authority to force further action.

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