Staged attack? Smollett? Hutsko?

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For whatever reason, I’ve been getting some hits on posts on Father Basil Hutsko of the Eparchy of Parma from the old city of Stalingrad (now Saint Petersburg) and then Petrozavodsk, both in northeast Russia. There were reports of a cowardly attack on him on 20 August 2018 in the sacristy of his church by an unknown assailant, who then escaped without a trace. That attack landed him in the hospital for a review of injuries. The Eparchy had put out a call for prayer. Months later, the same Eparchy put out this disclaimer, which I only saw today, more than five months later:

Father Basil Hutsko, a priest of the Eparchy of Parma, has been placed on administrative leave in response to a credible accusation of sexual misconduct involving a minor that allegedly occurred 35 years ago. Though Father Basil Hutsko denies the accusation, Bishop Milan Lach, SJ, having heard from the priest, the Review Board, and the Promotor of Justice, has found the accusation to be credible. A finding that the accusation is credible is not a finding of guilt. Father Basil Hutsko has been placed on administrative leave. While on administrative leave, Father Basil Hutsko is unable to function in any capacity as a priest anywhere. Also the Eparchy of Parma has recently verified with a member of Father Basil Hutsko’s immediate family that the incident Father Basil Hutsko reported on Aug. 20, 2018, did not occur.

All that happened before the Jussie Smollett case went viral, raising consciousness about the possibility of a faked attacked on a personal level. I know that militaries right around the world have done this kind of thing since time immemorial – all. the. time. – so as to give themselves the “right” to attack some other nation. It escalates tensions, draws on resources, tears down trust of everyone in every institution.

I always thought of myself as being bad and evil enough to think on the level of a criminal, and so not dismissing possibilities of evil before even starting. Stupid me. I was having too high of an opinion of myself. I’m not nearly open to thinking like a criminal as I should be. It never entered my pea-brain to think that someone would do this to themselves. I mean, I’ve just never run across that. Never. Not with domestic abuse cases, not with anything. It was always non-staged, real violence that had occurred.

I’m guessing Father Hutsko is claiming innocence since the Eparchy goes out of its way to state that “credible” does not mean “guilt.” I’ll believe Father Hutsko until he’s proven guilty, which probably necessitates an admission of guilt in these days of “all priests are always guilty,” when there is no statute of limitations on s/he said – s/he said allegations and counter-allegations. Let it be said: statutes of limitations protect justice. Unlike so very many real cases where admission of guilt is easily obtained, that is not so with the case of Father Hutsko. On the other hand, it seems his own family is saying that the attack was staged, and that was all before the Jussie Smollett case. But perhaps Father is not feeling well. Maybe he has PTSD for whatever reason. Perhaps his family doesn’t like him. I don’t know. God knows. I don’t. Nor do you.

What I do know is that it will be more difficult for Father Hutsko because of the Jussie Smollett case. Much. More. Difficult.

What I also know is that we all have to help each other get to heaven.

And we do have to remember that it does no favor to anyone, especially to any real victim, to make a real victim into a seething vindictive cesspool of burning hatred for his or her entire lifetime. It’s helps any real victims to be able to forgive. That doesn’t mean saying any crime was unimportant. It doesn’t give anyone permission to do any crime (again). It doesn’t mean that the person forgiven can take in that forgiveness or even want forgiveness. It doesn’t mean that that forgiveness can actually be voiced. What making an act of the will by the grace of God to hold out forgiveness at least spiritually means a great deal of healing for any real victim. It means not being controlled by the aggression of that experience. It means growing, and not in mere reaction to an aggressor. What would we not want that for anybody?

Anyway, and just to say, if this was all staged, and that can be proven, Father Hutsko may be in for an unpleasant surprise. If I remember correctly, the FBI may have been interested in looking into this case as a hate crime, that is, with a motivation of terrorizing a class of people, holding all individuals in that class to be guilty and worthy of a possibly lethal attack. If any law enforcement wasted time and resources, well, it doesn’t look good. But, as I say, I don’t know. God knows. I don’t. Nor do you.

What I also know is that we all have to help each other get to heaven.

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