Thursday, August 30, 2018

Concerned Greek Catholics call for action from hierarch

This was sent to me by a concerned communicant in the Byzantine Catholic Church. I expect it mirrors the thoughts and feelings of many Greek Catholics in the United States. I can tell you first-hand that the Byzantine Catholics are not untouched by this problem.

An Open Letter to Metropolitan William, Archbishop of the Byzantine Catholic Archeparchy of Pittsburgh and head of the Council of Hierarchs

Metropolitan William,

I am deeply disturbed by the current state of the sexual abuse scandal in the Catholic Church. Why has my priest not spoken about this? Why have you, our shepherd, not spoken about this?

As a young mother living here in Pittsburgh, the epicenter of this international scandal, where one third of the offenders listed in the grand jury report lived, I am disgusted, hurt, and betrayed. Priests and bishops have committed horrible atrocities against children and adults, and what makes it worse, they have banded together to conceal this abuse and protect abusers, allowing them to continue their evil work. It feels awful to be in communion with Rome right now. But with this comes our duty. We must act. We are a part of this.

Metropolitan William: you are the head of the Council of Hierarchs.
You are the head of the Ruthenian Byzantine Catholic Church in this country.
You are a member of the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference.
You are the administrator of an eparchy with priests waiting for your direction and example.
You are my bishop at a time I am surrounded by suffering and sin.
I need you, in these capacities, to speak and to act.

Your brother bishops in the United States who were complicit in abuse and even were perpetrators of it are not voluntarily resigning and the Pope is not recalling them. It is a disgrace that an offender such as McCarrick was allowed by you and all the bishops in this country to voluntarily resign. This is like relying on criminals to voluntarily commit themselves to jail. You and your brother bishops need to hold each other accountable. Short of physically dragging bishops who have sheltered abusers out of their offices, there is nothing we laity can do except for pray and write letters like this one. You have real power here, and for all of us, for Christ, please use it.

It has been over two weeks since the release of the grand jury report, and your silence hurts the faithful. Any skeletons in our own closet must be revealed voluntarily. This would be an act of good faith that would reassure the faithful that you care. Apathy and a failure to act is what has let this scandal rot and fester and continue, wounding the Church. Don’t leave your faithful wondering how bad it is in our own Byzantine Catholic Church.

Action we do not wish to see, I must add, is mandating more numerous and onerous safe environment standards. The problem with this scandal solely lies in abusive clergy and bishops who supported their lecherous careers, and the onus of the sexual abuse scandal should never be placed on the shoulders of the laity.

For two weeks your faithful have been suffering. We are being tossed on the waves of this storm, doubting our Church, doubting our faith, worried that by bringing our children to church that we are throwing them into a den of lions. This is not something we can ignore any further.

Rise to the role of your vocation as our shepherd! Rebuke your brother bishops and other hierarchs where they have erred! Work to remove them where they have failed their flocks. Speak! This is not a time for silence and stillness, but we must, you must, raise our voices as did Moses, although he was afraid to, trusting that God would give him the words to say. And somehow, bravely, together, we must take up the whip Christ wielded in the Temple to drive out those profaning the Church. Your faithful will stand behind you. Shine a light into this horrible darkness. Please, as our shepherd, and as the head of our Church in this country: speak to us! Speak for us! Speak!

I remain your humble servant in Christ,

Abby Kreckel
Holy Spirit parish, Pittsburgh


  1. Clear and completely in accord with the Gospel. Such sobriety and simple truth is a welcome relief from the spin that comes from bishops and priests. Kyrie eleison!!!

  2. Dear Reverend Fathers,

    Bishop John has requested that you please inform your faithful at this weekends announcements, of his pastoral response to the recent scandals hitting the Roman Catholic Church. You may also insert it in your bulletins and post on your websites. If you have any questions please let me know. Thank you.

    Fr. Diodoro

    Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

    The month of August, 2018 will be remembered as a month of infamy for the Catholic Church in the United States. The revelations of the Pennsylvania Grand Jury about clerical abuse of children by priests and the cover-up that happened after the fact is a stain that the Church will have to live with for generations. The victims of this abuse have had their lives irreparably damaged physically, psychologically and spiritually that it is impossible to know how harmed they and maimed their lives have been. Please remember these innocent victims whose souls have been ravaged by clerical sexual abusers in your daily prayer. There are no excuses for this behavior by men who masquerade as priests of our loving Lord.

    During the Liturgy of St. Basil the Great we pray: "Remember, O Lord, the presbyterate, the diaconate in Christ and every holy order (Bishops & Cardinals) let none of us who surround your holy altar be put to shame.” This prayer has been violated in the most extreme way. Nonetheless, we need to remember how much those of us who serve at the Lord’s altar need to live our life in a most worthy way. This is a time of penance and purification for us who serve at the altar of the Lord. The Holy Father has spoken about this terrible wound inflicted on the Body of Chris;t and I do hope that we trust in the Lord and the Holy Spirit to show us the way to regain the trust that has been lost by the scandalous horrible actions of the unfaithful men of the cloth. Again if there are any kind of allegations in our Eparchy please contact the Safe Environment Office. Hopefully, all our priests are faithful in their service to the Lord.

    I will conclude with the latter section of that prayer: “ Visit us in your goodness, O Lord. Reveal yourself to us in your rich compassion.” Despite the horrific actions of priests and the hierarchy the Church is Christ’s work from the beginning at Pentecost and He has promised us that the “gates of hell will not prevail or destroy it.” Thank you for your love and faithfulness and may Mary, our Eparchy’s Protectress show us the way to wholeheartedly serve her Son, our Saviour and Redeemer.

    Sincerely yours in Christ,

    Bishop John Pazak, C.Ss.R.