The Delaware Department of Justice confirmed Nov. 1 that it has been conducting an investigation of potential criminal conduct engaged in by priests or other personnel of the Catholic Diocese of Wilmington.

This investigation focused on the acquisition and review of diocesan papers for records of sexual or other abuse. The department issued a subpoena Sept. 11 for a broad range of diocesan records covering a period of decades.

The purpose of the review is to determine whether there are any prosecutable criminal cases that may have not come to light in previous reviews of information provided by the diocese. The department reviewed some records provided by the diocese in the timeframe of 2002-04 but issued a subpoena approximately seven weeks ago in light of the disclosures in investigations by other jurisdictions.

The department is asking potential victims of abuse by diocesan personnel to contact 577-5293 or reportabuse@state.de.us to provide information to prosecutors and investigators as part of this review.