MERRILLVILLE, Ind. – Police in northwest Indiana say an attack on a Catholic priest has been forwarded to the FBI as a possible hate crime because the perpetrator, referred to reports of clergy sexual abuse of children.
Merrillville Detective Cmdr. Jeff Rice says the Rev. Basil John Hutsko was attacked Monday morning in St. Michael Byzantine Catholic Church. Rice says the 64-year-old priest was taken to a hospital for treatment. His condition was unknown Tuesday.
Pope Francis issued a letter Monday sentenced to priest sexual abuse and the cover-up. Also, a Pennsylvania grand jury last week reported about 300 priests abused at least 1,000 children in the past 70 years.
Hutsko is not named in the report.
Gary diocesan spokeswoman Debbie Bosak tells the Post-Tribune of the clergy are aware of the attack and will take precautions.