Allegheny County DA To Review Church Abuse Cases
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — A priest abuse scandal in Philadelphia is hitting home in the Pittsburgh Roman Catholic Diocese.
The Allegheny County District Attorney’s office is promising a full review of cases brought to light under former Bishop Anthony Bevilacqua.
The Philadelphia Dioceses has been rocked by scandal after the district attorney charged three priests and a parochial teacher.
A grand jury implicating dozens of other priests in sex assault allegations and suggesting the archbishop at the time, Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua, may have been aware of the activities.
He was not charged.
“Undeniably there have been people who have made some serious mistakes in the past and I think we’re doing everything that we can as a church to remedy and make sure those mistakes don’t happen again,” Bishop David Zubik said.
District Attorney Stephen Zappala is promising a full review of eight alleged abuse cases brought to attention when then-Bishop Bevilacqua was in Pittsburgh between 1983 and 1988.
“A couple of these matters that we reviewed, they wanted to talk about it, but they didn’t necessarily want to bring it back into a public forum or prosecute anybody,” Zappala said.
Zappala says shortly after the Philadelphia grand jury report became public, Catholic leaders in Pittsburgh came to him and asked him to review the cases and reinforce policies and procedures now in place.
“We want to protect our children and the leaders of the churches want to make sure their congregations know this is a priority for them,” Zappala said.
Zappala is hopeful aggressive policies can prevent the damage done to the church in Philadelphia where a number of Catholics are outraged.