Bishop David Zubik

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Bishop David Zubik Reflects On The Year Since The Grand Jury Report Was Released

August 14, 2019 - 9:00 am
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PITTSBURGH (News Radio 1020 KDKA) – It has been a year since the Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report on child sex abuse by Catholic clergy was released and on Wednesday Bishop David Zubik released a statement reflecting on the year.

Bishop Zubik says, “This year has been a time of grieving, of repentance for the harm done to the people at the hands of priests who were expected to be trusted spiritual leaders.  It has also been a time for the heart of the church to deepen its understanding of what victims/survivors have endured, and had to reach out in new ways to help them heal spiritually.”

When the report was released a year ago, Bishop Zubik announced the steps the diocese was going to take in order to strengthen its longstanding effort to prevent child abuse and respond to the victims and survivors.  One of the first steps was to engage an expert on the prevention of child abuse and to also have them review the diocesans practices and make recommendations to make improvements for the future.

Zubik said, "The vast majority of reported cases continue to be about events that occurred decades ago.  One reason that few abuse cases occurred after 1990 is that we have continually improved our abuse prevention efforts. Shay Bilchik, founder and director of the Center for Juvenile Justice Reform at Georgetown University has conducted an extensive evaluation of the diocese’s policies and practices in this area.  His overall conclusion is that 'the Diocese of Pittsburgh has worked hard in making the diocese an unwelcoming place for child predators.'"

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In March of this year, Bishop Zubik released a five point action plan discussing healing and enhanced support for victims and survivors, their families and loved ones, greater financial transparency, increased accountability, ongoing spiritual and human formation for clergy and seminarians and continued listening to seek truth and reconciliation.  To which Zubik says all of these steps are either completed or in motion.

The Bishop ends his statement by saying, “Pittsburgh is a resilient region, with a unique spirit and sense of community. People draw together to see each other through hard times and come out stronger. Today, we look to the Church of the future, the faith community we want today’s children and their children experience. My faith is in God. But I also have faith in the Church of Pittsburgh: faith that our community can move forward in unity and with hope, learning from the past, protecting the weakest among us, holding each other accountable and continuing to fulfill the mission that Jesus gave to us.”

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