Bishop Of Pittsburgh Rejects Calls For His Resignation After Release Of Sex Abuse Report

Joshua Gill | Religion Reporter

The Roman Catholic bishop of Pittsburgh rejected calls for his resignation Sunday, saying that the church today is not the one described in Pennsylvania’s sex abuse report.

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court released the grand jury report Tuesday, which detailed instances of sex abuse and cover-ups in six dioceses over 70 years and which accused David Zubik, the bishop of Pittsburgh, of being negligent. Zubik responded Sunday that he had in fact done everything necessary to address instances of child abuse since becoming Pittsburgh’s bishop in 2007. (RELATED: Cardinal Wuerl Defends Himself In Light Of Pennsylvania Sexual Abuse Report)

“We have followed every single step that we needed to follow to be responsible in our response to the victims,” Zubik said on ABC of the diocese’s performance under his leadership.

The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, SNAP, called for Zubik to step down and called on Catholic faithful to cease donations to the diocese until he does so. Zubik retorted that his leadership’s care for victims shows that there is no reason for him to resign.

“First of all, we’ve listened to them carefully. Second of all, we’ve removed priests from ministry,” he said on ABC. “Third of all, we have in fact turned it over to the district attorneys of the appropriate counties. Fourth of all, we have engaged the independent review board to assess and take a look at the allegations and whether or not a person would be suitable for ministry again. And we have, in fact, informed the people in our parishes about those allegations as well as put out press releases accordingly.”

“So I think that that behavior and the steps that we’ve consistently taken since 2007 really works against SNAP’s calling forth my resignation,” he added.

Zubik also defended the church in Pittsburgh, saying that while he shares the “rage” that people feel over the abuses and cover-ups revealed in the sex abuse report, “The church of Pittsburgh today is not the church that’s described in the grand jury report.”

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