PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Bishop David Zubik called a press conference on Wednesday to deny inappropriate conduct claims being made by a former student.
Here is his full statement:
The fear of every priest is that someone, sometime, somewhere, somehow will level a false accusation against him. That nightmare has been realized for me. I stand before you to share that a former student at Quigley Catholic High School in Baden has falsely accused me of inappropriate conduct when I was Vice Principal there in the mid-1980’s. Specifically, my accuser alleged: “He was the most violent with me. He forced me up against a wall in the Chapel and tried to tongue kiss me.” I emphatically state no such behavior occurred, nor any semblance of such behavior. The accusation is false, offensive and outrageous.
The accusation came only days after my accuser, after submitting to background checks for liturgical service in his parish, was deemed ineligible. The Diocesan Examination Board determined that he would be prohibited from liturgical service in the Church. I believe my accuser saw me as part of the process denying his authorization to serve.
Given the public nature of this false accusation against me as a religious leader in Southwestern Pennsylvania, I have an obligation in conscience and moreover I desire to inform you of this matter. In addition, in my determination to follow our diocesan policies on such matters and to make this information public, you must also know that some weeks ago I turned this matter over to both the District Attorney in Beaver County, wherein the behavior was alleged to occur, and also to the proper authorities in the Vatican through the Apostolic Nunciature of the United States. We have also begun the process of bringing this accusation before the independent Diocesan Review Board.
In closing, may I assure you that I am concerned about the welfare of my accuser. At the same time, I expect that my integrity and the integrity of the Church I lead will be respected as well.
I pledge my prayers for my accuser, and I ask your prayers for both of us.