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Priest describes sex abuse scandal as ‘incredibly demoralizing’

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WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley
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A priest from Our Lady of Victory Basilica in Lackawanna briefly spoke with reporters before heading into Monday afternoon’s meeting with Bishop Malone at Infant of Prague Church in Cheektwoaga.  

A small group of faithful gathered on the sidewalk telling priests arriving for the meeting that they support and pray for them.  They also carried signs stating “Take Courage Holy Priests and Stand for the Truth” and "Praying for Our Priests".

Father Samuel Giangreco walked over to the group and delivered a brief Catholic blessing upon them. His prayer asked for the "truth may come forward very quickly."

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Credit WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley
Priest from the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo arriving for Monday's meeting at Infant of Prague Church to meet with Bishop Malone.

Father Giangreco was then willing to turn to the media and take a few questions.  He was asked how difficult this time has been in serving as a priest.

"It’s been incredibly demoralizing. I can’t even being to tell you the emotions I feel when news breaks and breaks and breaks,” Father Giangreco responded.

WBFO asked Father Giangreco what he hopes to walk away with from Monday's meeting.

“Just some knowledge of what’s going on. Maybe more transparency  - whatever he can tell us with the same time respecting confidentiality," replied Giangreco.

Giangreco said he believes Bishop Malone is doing the best he can in dealing with the abuse scandal.

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Credit Eileen Buckley / WBFO News
Among the priests attending Monday's meeting was Father Robert Zilliox, a pastor at St. Mary's in Swormville, who appeared in the "60 Minutes" story.

"I really do love and respect our Bishop very, very much," remarked Giangreco. "I think he is doing the best he can. Of course, he has admitted to those mistakes. I’m confident that he’s not going to make those mistakes again. I think what he’s doing now is the best he can and we’ll see how the Catholics, faithful feel about that.”    

Giangreco also told reporters that parishioners at his parish have provided support and respect to his work.

“I’ve only had good experiences with the people in the pews. They’ve been so merciful, so understanding and so respectful. We’re doing the best we can to be good and holy, really and truly,” replied Giangreco.

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