Attorney General calls out Diocese of Pittsburgh, bishop for lack of remorse and transparency

Attorney General calls out Diocese of Pittsburgh, bishop for lack of remorse and transparency

PITTSBURGH — It's been more than a year since a grand jury released a report on priest sex abuse, and now Attorney General Josh Shapiro is in Pittsburgh with new criticisms of the Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh.

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On Thursday, Shapiro said the church continues to show a lack of transparency and remorse, calling out both the diocese and Bishop David Zubik.

"We continue to see the church throw up roadblocks when it comes to getting those people who were abused the support and assistance that they need," Shapiro said.

Shapiro claimed both the diocese and Zubik failed to adequately respond to the grand jury clergy sex abuse report in 2018.

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"I said very clearly when we released the grand jury report last August in August 2018, that the true test of whether or not the church was really reformed and really prepared to move forward is whether they would endorse the four reforms recommended by the grand jury to date," said Shapiro. "Neither Bishop Zubik nor any of his colleagues across Pennsylvania have, and that should be disappointing to all Pennsylvanians."

The diocese, in a statement Thursday, defended their response and said Zubik supports three of the recommendations – including an end to criminal statute of limitations for child sex abuse, banning confidentiality agreements regarding child sex abuse, and training more than 18,000 people as certified mandatory reporters to report child abuse.

Along with others across the state, the Pittsburgh diocese also set up a victims' fund, but Shapiro said they should have waived the statute of limitations to allow victims to file lawsuits, like the report recommended.

The diocese went on to say that Zubik has continued to build on the decades of outreach to victims and survivors and efforts to prevent abuse.