A Catholic priest was beaten on Monday morning as he finished celebrating liturgy at his church in Merrillville, Indiana, and authorities are investigating the attack as a hate crime.
According to WGN, Rev. Basil Hutsko was hospitalized after he was beaten at St. Michael’s Byzantine Church.
Hutsko told another priests Rev. Thomas Loya what happened
“[He said] the attacker grabbed him, choked him and threw him to the ground and knocked him unconscious. He was wearing gloves. Father Basil does not know who it was, but while he was attacking him, he heard the attacker say, ‘This is for all the kids.’,” Loya said.
This is believed to be in reference to the revelation of decades of sexual abuse on over 1,000 children by over 300 priests.
However, Hutsko, who was unconscious for 15 minutes after the attack, has never been accused of sexual abuse.
“He’s a very dedicated priest and hardworking and in good standing, it’s just a random act of an innocent priest,” Loya said.
Merrillville police has transferred the case to FBI who are investigating it as a hate crime, although no arrest has been made.