CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL
News Conference with Massachusetts Attorney General
Aired December 12, 2002 - 14:01 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
KYRA PHILLIPS, CNN ANCHOR: We're now going to take you live to Massachusetts, where we've been following the announcements from the attorney general on Cardinal Bernard Law and several other bishops that once worked with him receiving subpoenas to appear before a grand jury.
Let's listen in.
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THOMAS REILLY, MASSACHUSETTS ATTORNEY GENERAL: In terms of the internal policies and procedures within the Catholic Church, that has been somewhat of a mixed bag. We have worked long and hard and spent countless hours working with the commission, the lay commission that was set up by the archdiocese to come up with a set of policies and procedures that would protect children, the education, the training, the supervision piece.
The commission did excellent work. There is absolutely no question about that. But those policies and procedures have been turned over to the archdiocese, and as far as I know, at this point, they have not been adopted. We have other concerns about what is happening to those policies and procedures, and I will speak to those at a later point.
Our third objective was the issue of accountability, and the tools that we have available to us in this state are limited (ph). It is very difficult, under the criminal laws of this state, to hold a superior accountable for the acts of another. But we felt an obligation to go forward, particularly given our experience in dealing with this institution.
We've had experience dealing with other institutions against which allegations, serious allegations, have been made.
Our experience in the past is generally, they do the right thing, particularly when it comes to children. And by doing the right thing, I mean they clean house and they cooperate, and they try to work with us to get to the bottom of this and to find out the truth.
Obviously, that has not happened here. I felt a need to press forward. Our tools may be limited, but we cannot make a final decision in terms of the options and legal options and remedies that we have available to us until we have the facts.
And I have been determined throughout that we will use every investigative tool that we have to get those facts. That is why, earlier this year, this past summer, I authorized the use of the grand jury. The grand jury is a legal tool that we have available to us, an investigative tool, so that we can get the facts. So in the end, when we make our final decisions, they are based upon the facts as we know them. That's where we are, folks, and I'm now open to any questions that you may have.
PHILLIPS: ... listening to Attorney General Thomas Reilly talking about the Boston archdiocese investigation, talking about the grand jury now looking into possible criminal violations by church officials who supervised priests accused of child sexual abuse.
As you know, Cardinal Bernard Law, the main person, the center of this controversy, is at the -- in Rome now conferring with Vatican officials about this sex abuse crisis, and, of course, his fate.
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