The Byzantine Catholic diocese of Parma, Ohio, confirmed that Rev. Basil Hutsko, 64, was attacked and beaten unconscious in the sacristy of his parish church in Merrillville, Indiana. After celebrating the Divine Liturgy, an assailant throttled the priest and slammed his head on the ground. Rev. Hutsko lost consciousness as a result.
Before losing consciousness, according to the communique, the priest heard the attack say, “This is for all the kids!” This was an apparent reference to the coverage of sexual abuse allegedly committed by priests and laity of Roman Catholic dioceses in Pennsylvania. According to the statement from the Byzantine Catholic diocese of Parma, Ohio, “However it must also be clear that Fr. Hutsko was a random target. He is not guilty of any sex abuse.” The diocesan statement urged priests to be vigilant. Rev. Hutsko was examined at a local hospital after the attack. Faithful Christians are sending up prayers for the priest's recovery.
A good priest I know, Fr. Basil Hutsko was attacked and knocked unconscious this morning at his parish in Merrillville, Indiana. Before going unconscious Fr. Basil heard the attacker say, "This is for all the kids!" (reference to the clergy sex abuse coverage in the media.)— Bob Grip (@Bob_Grip) August 20, 2018
Rev. Hutsko is the pastor of St. Michael Byzantine Catholic parish in Merrillville, which is near Gary in northwestern Indiana and within the Chicago metropolitan area. The Byzantine Catholic Church is in communion with the worldwide Catholic Church, and reflects the traditions and spirituality of Eastern Christians, such as the Greek Orthodox and Russian Orthodox churches.
This was apparently a random attack and Fr. Hutsko HAS NOT been accused of any wrongdoing. I hope for prayers for his recovery, and proper penance for those whose criminal cover-up of abuse sowed the seeds of this violence. @JamesMartinSJ— Bob Grip (@Bob_Grip) August 20, 2018