WATCH: Louisiana State Police Obtain Sexual Abuse Search Warrant for Archdiocese of New Orleans

The criminal investigation into child sexual molestation in New Orleans’ Roman Catholic archdiocese has entered a major new phase, as a judge ordered the church to turn over records showing how it responded to abuse allegations over the last several decades.

The order signed Monday seeks files that would identify every priest and deacon accused of molesting children while working in the US’ second-oldest archdiocese, when those complaints were first made and if the church ever turned all of those cases over to police, according to multiple sources with direct knowledge of the matter.

More telling of the significance of the inquiry, police are also demanding copies of all communications among New Orleans’ current archbishop, Gregory Aymond, his aides and their superiors at the Vatican, those sources said.

It appears to be the first time that authorities investigating the New Orleans archdiocese’s role in the decades-old, worldwide Catholic clerical child molestation scandal have gone after the full set of abuse-related documents in the local church’s possession.

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