GALLUP (October 12, 2018) – The Most Reverend James S. Wall and the Diocese of Gallup invite Attorneys General Hector Balderas of New Mexico and Mark Brnovich of Arizona to review files relevant to investigations into clergy sexual abuse, following federal court permission.
While the Diocese of Gallup is wholly committed to cooperation with law enforcement agencies and to protection of minors and our parishioners, many of the records recently requested by the New Mexico Attorney General are sealed through federal courts, following the conclusion of our recent Chapter 11 bankruptcy process.
We encourage the offices of both Attorneys General to seek permission from the Federal Bankruptcy Court to be allowed access to confidential files. If the request is granted, we invite the Attorneys General to visit our offices in Gallup to review files relevant to any investigations they may undertake, as the majority of records kept by the Diocese of Gallup are available in physical format only, and could take many months to process for digital delivery.
We also encourage the offices of the Attorneys General to provide us advice and recommendations for enacting more rigorous policies for preventing abuse, should they happen to find areas for improvement in the course of any investigation they may undertake.
As Bishop Wall stated in his August 22 letter to the people of the Diocese of Gallup, “There is no place in the Church for ignoring sin, for caring more for our public reputation than for following Christ faithfully.” The process of opening our records has sometimes been and may continue to be painful, but it is nothing compared to the pain of those who have suffered abuse at the hands of some Church workers.
We look forward to the opportunity to work together with the Attorneys General in ensuring that our Diocese and parishes are safe and secure in providing a space for our people to practice their Catholic faith.