Out of the dark, into the light: With abuse reports released, bishop looks to the future of Erie Diocese

The Herald

July 3, 2018

By Melissa Klaric


With abuse reports released, bishop looks to the future of Erie Diocese

Erie – Bishop Lawrence T. Persico says he didn’t set out to be a trailblazer.

But he has been touted as the first Catholic bishop to release a complete list of names of people accused of misconduct, including not only priests affiliated with his Erie Diocese, but lay people as well. He has also received praise for expanding the role of the office for the protection of children and updating its policy.

“I just wanted to do what was right,” the bishop said.

And that is his intention moving forward, he says, as the grand jury report is about to be made public on its investigation into sexual misconduct allegations by clergy and lay people over the past 70 years. The report covers the Erie Diocese along with five others in Allentown, Greensburg, Harrisburg, Pittsburgh and Scranton.

Persico has had a chance to read the report on the Erie Diocese, but public release of the report was held up pending the resolution of legal issues. Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro filed legal action Monday to have the report made public.

But now, in addition to looking back, the Erie bishop is looking forward.

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