Search for Solutions in Church Crisis Continues
Fbi Teams Hired to Keep Tabs

By Stu Brown
WPXI [Greensburg PA]
August 18, 2003

GREENSBURG, Pa. -- FBI teams are in the Greensburg diocese to make sure that new initiatives instituted are being followed to protect children.

An official of the Greensburg Catholic Diocese says it's a new experience facing a weeklong grilling and investigation by independent auditors; a process designed to make sure all offenders have been removed.

Rev. Roger Statnick, vicar general of the Greensburg Catholic Diocese, said, "Do you have a program in place for the educating (of) people on the protection of children? How do you deal with public officials, particularly law enforcement?"

Statnick said independent auditors -- former FBI agents now working for a Boston firm -- are asking those questions and many more in their five-day visit.

They're also seeking documentation that diocesan officials are following procedures set up last year by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in the aftermath of a national scandal over sex abuse by Catholic clergy.

The auditors also asked to speak with one alleged victim anonymously.

The four-county Greensburg diocese reported last year it had taken action against eight priests in cases dating before 1985. It said no priests accused in sex abuse cases are currently in ministry.

Statnick said, "I feel confident we have actually addressed all of the major concerns. Obviously we're all going into this a little blind."

The Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh is scheduled to face a similar audit in October. The findings are expected to be made public by the end of the year.


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