Bishop Zubik Reacts To Wuerl Resignation; Says He Should Continue To Be Bishop Of Pittsburgh

Zubik says he believes God wants him to continue to lead the Pittsburgh Diocese

Bishop David Zubik

Andrew Limberg

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Related: Pope OKs Resignation Of Cardinal Wuerl Amid Cover-Up Scandal

PITTSBURGH (Newsradio 1020 KDKA) - Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Cardinal Donald Wuerl after his connection to two major sex abuse scandals in the Catholic Church, one in Pittsburgh (while he was the Bishop of the diocese) and in Washington D.C.

In September, Wuerl wrote a letter on his website announcing his intention to resign and encouraged the Pope to accept his resignation.

Wuerl said in the letter:

“This first step in the necessary healing process for our Church will be followed by my meeting with Pope Francis about the resignation that I presented nearly three years ago on November 12, 2015. Those called to serve the Church in a leadership capacity must recognize that we are to lead not only by word, but also by personal action. We must be prepared to do whatever is needed, including stepping aside.”

Wuerl’s name was mentioned several times in the Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report on Sexual Abuse in the Catholic Church.

Bishop David Zubik, who is also mentioned in the report, tells the KDKA Radio Morning News it’s important to recognize what Cardinal Wuerl said when he announced his intention to resign.

“He doesn’t want him to be standing in the way of people’s trust and the Church and more importantly people’s faith in God,” said Zubik.

When asked about calls for his own resignation Zubik says he has prayed and believes “God is asking (me) to be the Bishop of Pittsburgh and be the Bishop of Pittsburgh at this particular time.”

“I can say honestly since I became Bishop in 2007 I have followed the steps to really address the situation in the sexual abuse of minors. I think I have been true to what’s been expected of me. I’m not perfect. I think when we had our service of apology a couple weeks ago I specifically said that I’d be sorry for any mistakes that I made,” said Zubik.

One of those mistakes he said was the long standing position he had to not release the names of the accused priests.

“As I look back on it . . . I wish I would’ve released those named a lot earlier.”

Zubik did release the names to the Attorney General before they were made public.

Zubik says the church is offering counseling; working with the other dioceses in the state to set up a potential victims fund and looking at other new programs that would help victims heal.

Personally, Zubik adds he will continue to meet with victims personally and is hosting listening sessions.

“First and foremost recognize the horrific pain the victims have had and try to help in their healing and then to (help with) the healing of the people in the diocese as well too,” said Zubik.

In a statement released Friday morning Zubik said:

"Cardinal Wuerl, who served the people of Pittsburgh for 18 years as our bishop, requested that Pope Francis allow him to step-down as Archbishop of Washington for the healing of the victims of abuse and their families and for the good of the Church. For as long as I have known Cardinal Wuerl, he has advocated for those within the church and beyond who need the opportunity for a better life. I pray that the acceptance of his resignation today by Pope Francis will continue to bring about healing in the hearts and lives of victims of abuse and all those in the Church."

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