Transcript for Pittsburgh Bishop: ‘We have followed every step’ in responding to abuse victims
You’re being groomed to get used to a grown man’s hands on you regularly. Would have a priest in 1948 or ’47 would abuse you orthat? They would have never heard of such a tng because they covered it up. Just think that T wor god makes me think of just — When you ve the priest touching you every day, you ow, that’s a hard memory to, uh, to have. Jt a few of the more than 1,000 victims cited in a devastatinreport thiweek from aennsylvania grand jury detailing decades of abuse by more than 300 catholic priests abuse known to church leaders who the grand jury saidlowed a, quote, playbook for concealing the trbishop Zubik is one of the priestsiscussed in the report. Zubik joins us from pittsbur thank you R joining us this morning. I want to give yhe opportunity right off the bat to respond to those way church leaders were complicit in the coverup. First of all, orge,hank you for the opportunity to be with you on air. First of all, we nto have a deep sense of empathy for all the victims have suffered so much. As I apologize to them, we need to cnue with looking for efforts to help S become better. Second of Al I can wel understand the rage that people have in reading theport. I fe as well too. And third of all, I want to offer my support to the very faithful priests deacons who serve our people so faithfully. I want to Y that it’s important from my respective, George, to talk about whole alletion of coverup. I was a little bit surised to hear after my first an to our news confereon Tuesday that I W somehow part of the verup. And I realized that what we needed to doe in Pittsburgh was to be ableshow the public that wasn’t so. So what I asked to have the course of the L couple days after the reports released and our own lis of offenders was to make sure THA we put not only when offense was brought fortto the diocese but in every case where reported to the apriate district attor the second thing I realized was the report is lengy but we were also given the oppoity by the courts to do our response and I encourage people tread our response as well too because it addresses of isof how we didn’t cover up. Ird of all, I think we need to note that strict attorneys who been in allegheny county for the last 30 S have this week issued stements to say that we have in fact turned every allegation ove them. Let’s take a look at one of the specifin the report. It’s the testimony of the monsignor Raymond Schultz who testified he was abused or raped 10 to 15 Tim and he describes a meeng with you where you fered to pay for college tuition for his children, counselling as well. But the victim says he refused the offer becau the diocese allowed up and said this. I wantput it on the screen. You’re going to hao meet with our lawyer and sign these documentat basically says you’re done with, you can’t after us, it’s over, no public, youth is closed. That sounds from that testimy likeattempted coverup. No, I think first of all, orge, that an allegaon was brought forward after the person who waslleged to have committed the abuse fact deased. I think that we ve taken a position in the diocese Pittsburgh since 2002 not to do any confidentiality agreements but we needed be able to assert whether or not the called behavior did, in fact, occur. At was parthe discussion that took place in that ular case. The survivors of the network ofhose abused by priests, snap, is calling for tough action against your diocese. It says catholics shld stop donating to bishop Zubik diocese until heteps down. Ch a boycott may B the most persistent denial. Yoesponse? Sure. I want to go bacto when I became the bishop of the diocese of Pittsburgh in 2007. I can honest say that we have food every single step that we nto follow to be responsible inur response to the victims. First of all’ve listened to tharefully. Second of all, we’ removed prsts from ministr thir all, we have in fact turned it over to the district attorneys of the appropriate unties. Fourth all, we have engage E independent review board to assess and take a look at E gations and whether or not a person would be suitable for ministry again. And we have, in fact, inform the people in our parishes about those allegatis as well as put out ess releases accorngly. So I think that behavior and the steps that we’ve consistently taken since 2007 really works against SP’s calling forth my resignation. And there Arey descriptions in the report of actions yobishop wuerl took against priests who are alleged to have abused young ctims. But you know the feeling out there is deep. So mancatholics and others feel betrayed by the churierarchy. What do you say to them? We have to be able to continue to look at the things that we have done to really correcthis issue.the church of Pittsburgh today ot the Chuh that’s described the grand jury report.and if I could indicate, starting with 1988 wheshop wuerl became bishop of Pittsburgh, one of first acts that he had to confrwas abuse of two brothers by three priests. He was very passionabout dressing usual abuse.what happened is that we began to develery stringent policies around sexubuse. He was very direct with the priests in 1988 to tell them that if they knew anhing they had toome forward weablished independent review board to assist the bishop to able to assess allegations. Fourth of all,e established the diocese aistance codinator who’s a full-te poon that meetspecifically with victims. And we both rst encour people who were victims to go forward to report their allegations and th we followed up on that as well too. Those are some of the things that W done in the past to try to show LE that we have en doing things over the course of the years and we’t St there. We have to look for new ways to be able to eradicate sexual use in the church but to work together with all society to ericate it society in general. Bishop Zubik, thafor your me this morning. Thank you.
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