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Letter to the editor: Diocese’s response is appalling

September 5, 2018

I am sickened by the redacted grand jury report and the Diocese of Greensburg. I have listened multiple times to Bishop Edward Malesic’s homily response. I am astonished and appalled at the decision of the bishop and his PR handlers to do anything other than beg for the forgiveness of the victims. His words are emblematic of the same institutional response that protected predators for 70-plus years while they preyed on thousands of children in Catholic dioceses across Pennsylvania.

Malesic states that past bishops of the diocese “sometimes misjudged the gravity of child sexual abuse.” Disregarding the assertion that there could possibly exist levels of gravity with regard to child sexual abuse, the reality is the church actively ignored, suppressed and fought against claims of abuse for decades. They have shown love not to the faithful, but to the institution alone and above all.

Moreover, I find the overt marketing campaign of “Committed to Higher Standards” laughably grotesque, as though the church is the same as a bank or an airline that has somehow lost the trust of its customers. This response is not good enough. Likely nothing ever will be, but a church that is concerned with image repair ignores the reality that what they’ve lost cannot be repurchased with logos and marketing materials.

Faith and belief and love are not supposed to be transactional experiences, yet the diocese is proceeding as if they are. I have not lived in Greensburg for 20 years, but if I was a parishioner there today, and I somehow was able to walk through the doors of my church this weekend, I would stand and leave when Malesic’s homily is played. And I’m not sure I would ever come back.

Sara Aldinger

Chicago

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