Petition To Remove Cardinal Wuerl's Name From North Catholic Over 7,500

Alumni say they don't want the good name of the school to be tarnished

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(Photo by Jonathan Newton-Pool/Getty Images)

PITTSBURGH (Newsradio 1020 KDKA) - An online petition on Change.org asking for the removal of Cardinal Donald Wuerl’s name from North Catholic High School has gained over 7,500 signatures.

North Catholic Alum Rich O’Laughlin, who created the petition, says he doesn’t want the good name of the school to be tarnished.

“I’m just looking for both the integrity of this school for now, for the students that are there plus the integrity of the history and prestige of the multiple years of students and alumni that have been through there,” said O’Laughlin.

Wuerl’s name appears over 200 times in the Pennsylvania Diocese Victims Grand Jury Report and is critical of the way he handled reports of sexual abuse.

The original goal of 2,500 signatures was achieved in less than 24 hours,

Related: Sign At High School Named For Cardinal Wuerl Is Vandalized

When Bishop David Zubik responded to the release of the grand jury report on sexual abuse in the Catholic Church, he said the removal of Cardinal Wuerl’s name was not off the table.

O’Laughlin says he hasn’t heard anything from the board directly, “but I have heard through some parents of current students that they did have a meeting I believe Friday evening and passed a recommendation that they forwarded on to the diocese. I am not sure what that is but from what I understand they’re hoping to have resolution by the end of the week.”

Classes started on Monday at the school and O’Laughlin has heard that if a student does not want to wear shirt with the schools current logo on it, they do not have to.

Overnight Monday, the sign at the entrance to the high school as vandalized to cover Cardinal Wuerl’s name with red spray paint.

O’Laughlin says he condemns the vandalism.

“I do not condone any form of vandalism as much as there is an outcry to remove his name this is not the way that it needs to be done,” said O’Laughlin. “It just makes the alumni; the current students and whoever it may be just look in a very bad way.”

O’Laughlin says he will keep the petition open so people can express their feelings in the comment section.

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