CRANBERRY TOWNSHIP, Pa. - Pittsburgh Bishop David Zubik held his final listening session Thursday night to listen to the concerns of survivors and parishioners after the grand jury report on “predator priests” in several Pennsylvania Catholic dioceses.
Thursday night’s listening session, the last of four planned sessions, was held at Saint Ferdinand Church.
“For any healing to take place there has to be an opening of the wound,” Zubik said as he addressed questions and criticism from those in attendance.
Several people spoke out about their concerns over sex abuse in the church and how it has been handled.
People Channel 11 News spoke with said there appears to be progress.
Zubik said changes are being discussed, but they will take time. His goal is to have an action plan created by Ash Wednesday, March 6, although it could come sooner.
The listening sessions are a direct response to the grand jury report, which outlined more than 1,000 cases dating back several decades.
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Survivors and parishioners have trouble understanding why and how the abuse went on for so long.
“If you call yourself a man of God, and you're supposed to care about your flock … I don't get it sometimes,” Ryan O'Connor, a survivor of abuse, said.
Zubik said he is willing to accept criticism because it is part of the job.
“The kinds of change we need to make can't happen instantaneously. Really take some time to reflect on it, to put together changes that accurately reflect what I’ve heard,” Zubik said.
While Thursday night’s session was the last one scheduled, Zubik said he is open to holding more.
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