• Listening sessions in wake of grand jury report start this week for local Catholic parishioners


    PITTSBURGH - The Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh is preparing for the start of its listening sessions as another priest is removed from ministry.

    Bishop David Zubik announced Saturday that Father Joseph Feltz was placed on administrative leave from his Butler County parish.

    PREVIOUS STORY: Pittsburgh diocese places another priest on leave after abuse allegation

    The decision was made after a lawsuit, recently filed against the diocese, detailed an allegation of child sexual abuse from the mid-1980s.

    Feltz has been serving as the pastor at St. Christopher parish in Prospect and is denying the allegation.


    He is the second priest the Pittsburgh Diocese has placed on leave in the last two weeks, as the diocese prepares to host listening sessions with parishioners about clergy sex abuse.

    The Diocese of Greensburg is also hosting sessions. Both will hear the concerns of parishioners following a scathing grand jury report released earlier this year.

    The first of four listening sessions hosted by Zubik and the Pittsburgh Diocese will be held this coming Thursday at St. Paul Cathedral in Oakland.

    There will also be sessions on:

    • Monday, Dec. 3, in Jefferson Hills
    • Tuesday, Dec. 4, in Aliquippa
    • Thursday, Dec. 6 in Cranberry

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    The sessions, which each begin at 7 p.m., are open to parishioners to "express their thoughts and concerns, and to offer suggestions" following the release of the Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report.

    According to the diocese, after the sessions have been held, Bishop Zubik will prepare a pastoral response with the help of the facilitators. 

    There is one more listening session scheduled for the Diocese of Greensburg. Six have already taken place so far.

    That diocese also wants to encourage open communication among parishioners about what has been revealed through the grand jury report. The remaining Greensburg listening session will be held on Thurs., Nov 29 at St. Bernard of Clairvaux Parish in Indiana from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.



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