GREENSBURG, Pa. - The Catholic Diocese of Greensburg is apologizing Thursday for “grievous failures” of the church and said it will release a list of clergy members with credible allegations of sexual abuse against them.
Michele Newell is talking to parishioners about the bishop's message, including one woman who says the apology was a good step to what’s been a very long and hard process for Catholics, for 11 at 11.
In a release of its “2018 Progress Update on Protection of Children: Higher Standards of Today’s Catholic Church,” the diocese affirmed its support of the public release of the grand jury report.
The grand jury report on sexual abuse in six Catholic dioceses in Pennsylvania, including Greensburg, could be released any time between now and Tuesday. It is said to contain the names of as many as 300 clergy members involved in the abuse and potential cover-ups.
The 700-page grand jury report will contain names of accusers, but there will be redactions.
“The facts must be made public if the church and survivors are ever to move past this horrific scourge,” a news release from the diocese said.
According to the diocese, it will release a list of Greensburg clergy with credible allegations against them on the same day the grand jury report is made public.
“Some of the names on the report will shock people. I know that none of those persons are in ministry today in the Diocese of Greensburg,” Bishop Edward Malesic told Channel 11’s Melanie Marsalko.
FULL INTERVIEW: Greensburg Bishop talks about grand jury report
When asked whether the diocese’s list will include names that are redacted in the grand jury report, Malesic said, “I think I’m going to rely on the wisdom of the Supreme Court for that.”
In a one-on-one interview with Marsalko, Malesic acknowledged that allegations of abuse by priests date back to the ‘50s and peaked in the ‘70s. He said allegations declined in the ‘80s and assured the church of today is not the church of the past.
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The Progress Update on Protection of Children states that in 2002, the Diocese of Greensburg thoroughly reviewed the personnel files of every diocesan priest who has served in the diocese since its formation in 1951.
“This review found indications of possible improper conduct on the part of some priests dating back to the 1960s, 1970s and early 1980s. Information on these cases was forwarded to law enforcement, and several of the cases resulted in the priest being permanently banned from public ministry,” the Progress Update said.
Furthermore, the Progress Update states that Malesic has overseen two independent reviews of diocesan clergy personnel files since becoming bishop of the Diocese of Greensburg in July 2015.
The independent reviews were conducted “in order to ensure that no one who is or was the subject of a credible and substantiated allegation of improper conduct with a child or young adult is currently serving in any ministerial capacity in the diocese.”
Stay with Channel 11 News for team coverage of the grand jury report.
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