PITTSBURGH - After reports that Cardinal Donald Wuerl, the archbishop of Washington, would discuss his possible resignation with the Pope in Rome, questions began to arise about his former protégé, Bishop David Zubik of Pittsburgh.
The names of both men appeared repeatedly in a landmark grand jury report on child abuse in six Pennsylvania dioceses that seemingly implicated them in the coverup of abusive priests.
That report led to the removal of Wuerl’s name from North Catholic High School and presumably prompted his discussion with the Pope.
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Zubik told Channel 11 he's gotten calls of anger and calls of support, but right now he says he has no plans to step down.
“It isn't a matter of what I want to do, but it’s a matter of what I feel god wants me to do ,and at this particular point, I feel the Lord still wants me to be a part of the healing process,” he said.
Zubik is vowing to lead the healing process while admitting he's not at all surprised by the wave of anger and controversy following the scathing grand jury report on clergy sex abuse.
“The report is horrific,” he said. “There is no excuse for the behavior and we can't defend that.”
Since the release of the report last month, there have been repeated calls for Wuerl’s resignation, even by some inside the church.
On Tuesday, Wuerl said he planned to discuss that with the pope.
“That’s one of the special things about cardinals – they have a special relationship with popes," Zubik said. “They have access and I think he was being forthright in saying, ‘Well, I'm going to talk to the Holy Father about this particular concern.”
And in light of the grand jury report, Zubik says he restricted the duties of two more priests – John Geinzer and George Wilt – even though the allegations against them were unsubstantiated.
“People reading the report are so enraged. They said, ‘We don't care if those allegations were substantiated or not,’” Zubik said. “’If they were on the list, we don't want them to be about.’ So what I did was I removed them from their assignments and … restricted their faculties.”
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