Inquiry initially covers archdiocese of St Louis, but officials have asked bishops of the four other dioceses to cooperate

Missouri is launching an investigation of potential sexual abuse in the Roman Catholic archdiocese of St Louis, state attorney general Josh Hawley said on Thursday.

The announcement follows the bombshell report in Pennsylvania confirming even more widespread sexual abuse by priests across the state than had been previously revealed. Hawley said his office does not have the power to force institutions to cooperate with criminal investigations but was able to launch the inquiry after the archdiocese agreed to help.

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