CHICAGO (CBS)–A Northwest Indiana priest failed to adhere to (at least) one of the Catholic Church’s ’10 Commandments’–‘Thou Shalt Not Lie’–after accusations surfaced that he made up a story about being attacked at the altar in August.
Father Basil Hutsko of Saint Michael Byzantine, a Catholic church in Merrillville, has been placed on administrative leave following allegations that he lied about being the victim of a hate crime.
The parish discredited his claims that he was beaten while he was praying at the altar last summer.
Father Hutsko, who has since been accused of sexual abuse, claimed he was attacked on the same day Pope Francis issued a letter to Catholics around the world condemning priestly sexual abuse and cover-ups in response to a grand jury report that publicly named more than 300 “predator priests” who allegedly molested more than 1,000 children in six Pennsylvania dioceses.
Since news of his alleged abuse made headlines, an attorney representing the church says it has known since 2004 about allegations that Father Hutsko sexually abused a 35-year-old woman.
A review board deemed that accusation false, but now it’s being reviewed, church leaders say.
Father Hutsko is being treated at a medical center, according to the church. He will not be able to practice as a priest during the investigation.