PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — It’s been a tough day for the faithful who belong to Catholic dioceses in Pennsylvania, following the release of the grand jury report on alleged sexual abuse.
For some, the one thing they rely on to get through tough times, their faith, has been shaken.
And while the issue has been around for generations, the release of the report laid bare the allegations for all to see. Many Pittsburgh-area parishioners expressed sadness and concern.
While many of those named are no longer in the ministry, or have passed away, the pain caused by the blow to the Catholic faithful is no less agonizing.
At St Mary’s in Downtown Pittsburgh, Fr. John Marcucci told the faithful, “This is a psychological disorder that is a monster inside my brothers.”
- CLICK HERE TO READ THE FULL REPORT AND LIST OF NAMES OF PREDATOR PRIESTS
- CLICK HERE TO READ THE FULL LIST OF NAMES RELEASED BY THE CATHOLIC DIOCESE OF PITTSBURGH
- CLICK HERE TO READ THE FULL LIST OF NAMES RELEASED BY THE CATHOLIC DIOCESE OF GREENSBURG
But the bulk of his attention went to the victims.
“There is no compassion or apology or sorrow that can reach into the hearts of those that have been affected by my brother priests. Some of them will carry that scar all the days of their lives,” said Fr. Marcucci.
It’s a point that resonated with those in the pews.
“I just hope there’s justice for all the victims,” said one parishioner.
“Hopefully, these children will somehow get through this in God’s name,” added another.
On one question there is a unified sentiment.
KDKA’s John Shumway: “Should those who are still in positions in the church be removed?
Parishioner: “Yes, yes, and punished.”
KDKA’s Andy Sheehan has more from clergy sex abuse victims:
- 301 ‘Predator Priests’ Named In Pa. Grand Jury Sex Abuse Report: ‘They Were Raping Little Boys & Girls’
- Bishop David Zubik On Grand Jury Report: ‘There Was No Cover Up Going On’
Sr. Patrice Hughes worries the report will severe people from the church.
“Those who are already a little weak in their faith, this will be the green light to just abandon all trust in God and that really disturbs me,” said Sr. Hughes, of Pittsburgh’s St. Pius Catholic Church.
There is help available for victims of abuse.
The first is the Attorney General’s Hotline at 1-888-538-8541. You can call that number if you or someone you know is a survivor of abuse in the church.
The second is the number for SNAP, a survivors’ network, at 1-877-762-7432.
And if you are aware of ongoing child abuse anywhere in Pennsylvania, you are urged to call ChildLine at 1-800-932-0313.