Greensburg diocese warns sex abuse report will contain familiar priests' names
A new report from the Greensburg Catholic Diocese warned parishioners that they will see both familiar and unfamiliar priests’ names with the public release of an edited grand jury report that examined decades of allegations of sexual abuse in the diocese and five others across the state, including Pittsburgh.
The diocesan report, titled “Progress Update on the Protection of Children: Higher Standards of Today’s Catholic Church,” promises that the diocese — which has been mum on the investigation — will release names of credibly accused clergy once the grand jury report is made public. The Supreme Court has ordered that an edited version will be released no later than Tuesday.
“We want the survivors to have the voice they deserve,” the Greensburg Diocese said in its report. It reiterated that church officials support the release of the grand jury report and said the diocese would have considered going public if the court process had caused further delays.
Greensburg’s announcement follows an identical announcement the Pittsburgh Diocese issued last week.
The dioceses of Erie and Harrisburg both have already released the names of credibly accused priests and other diocesan employees ahead of the grand jury report.
Sections of the grand jury report that have been made public ahead of its full release stated that the panel included the names of more than 300 “predator priests,” many dating back decades.
A report from the grand jury that took testimony from dozens of survivors of child sexual abuse was blocked in June after about two dozen clergymen named in it but not criminally charged filed petitions saying it violated their rights to due process and reputation.
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court agreed to issue an interim report no later than Aug. 14, with their names blacked out, pending a hearing on the issue next month.
The Greensburg diocese previously reported that it had paid $667,711 in settlements and counseling fees related to allegations since the founding of the diocese in 1951.
The new report charts the church’s adoption of increasingly strict standards in recent decades, details Bishop Edward C. Malesic’s quick response to two recent allegations and promises support for survivors who wish to come forward.
“We are sorry: a sincere and open apology to the survivors of child sexual abuse and to all those impacted by the grievous failures of the church,” the 17-page report opens.
Deb Erdley is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Deb at 412-320-7996, email@example.com or via Twitter @deberdley_trib.