Joe DeStio

Bishop Zubik Apologizes After Release Of Grand Jury Report; Denies Any Cover-Up

Says the diocese of today is not the church reflected in the report

August 14, 2018 - 5:46 pm
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PITTSBURGH (Newsradio 1020 KDKA) – Bishop Zubik is apologizing after Attorney General Josh Shapiro announced Tuesday the findings of an almost two-year investigation into reports of sexual abuse by clergy in six Pennsylvania Catholic Diocese.

In the Diocese of Pittsburgh, 99 priests were named spanning decades. Pittsburgh Bishop David Zubik said:

“First, let me say that, in the name of the Church of Pittsburgh, and in my own name, and in the name of my predecessors: We are sorry, I am sorry. I take this report to heart. It is a story of peoples’ lives; people who need to be heard, people who need to be healed. It is a cause to which we must remain committed long after this story has faded from the headlines.”

Zubik adds that the church has been taking action over the past 30 years to address the issue and the church today is not the church named in the grand jury report.

“Beginning in 1989 we have engaged an Independent Review Board to address allegations of child sexual abuse. Since 1993, a Diocesan Assistance Coordinator has met with victims and continues to respond to their needs with great compassion.

We offer psychological counseling for victims and their families with the licensed therapist of their choice. We have provided financial assistance to victims.”

He adds 90 percent of the reported cases happened before 1990.

Diocese of Pittsburgh

Zubik says on top of everything the diocese is currently doing they are adding three new steps to help prevent sexual abuse.

An expert has been brought into review the dioceses practices and recommend improvements, they are creating a position to monitor clergy who have been removed from following allegations of abuse, and have posted on their website the names of those accused of sexual abuse, including some that the grand jury did not publish.

The list on the diocese website does not include names of those who still have appeals pending before Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court.

“The rights and the work of the Supreme Court need to be respected. If the Supreme Court orders that their names be restored in the report, they will also be added to the Diocese of Pittsburgh list,” said Zubik.

Zubik also flatly denied the strong allegations of a cover-up in the grand jury report while either he or former Bishop Donald Wuerl were in charge.

He said if cases were mishandled, it was because they didn’t have all of the information and they did not intentionally move priests to other dioceses if allegations have been made against them.

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