PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — A “Service of Apology” was held Monday evening by Pittsburgh Catholic Diocese Bishop David Zubik.

It was for people hurt by the church in any way, including those sexually abused by clergy.

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Cameras were not allowed inside the service at Saint Paul Cathedral in Oakland, but nearly 100 people gathered to hear what Bishop Zubik had to say.

“Some of the people said they’re coming because they’re angry that I closed a church building,” said Bishop Zubik. “Other people are angry because a priest didn’t treat them kindly in the sacrament of confession. Some people are coming because they’ve been abused by someone in the church.”

In fact, it was three weeks ago that a grand jury report alleged two bishops from the Altoona-Johnstown Diocese helped cover up the sexual abuse of children by more than 50 priests over decades.

It did not involve the Pittsburgh Diocese, and the “Service of Apology” was planned well before the announcement.

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Bishop Zubik held his first “Service of Apology” when he was in Green Bay, after he was inspired by Pope John Paul II. Then, he held one in here in Pittsburgh in 2009.

“My staff in Green Bay, and when I came back to Pittsburgh for the first time, my staff said, ‘I don’t think that’s such a good idea for you to do it,’ but I felt it was,” said Bishop Zubik. “It was an important risk to take.”

He says both times his staff feared it could make the hurt worse, but he wants people to know his words are sincere.

“Just by my saying I’m sorry for the church, I’m not expecting that’s going to make it easier for people,” said Bishop Zubik. “But I hope at least it’s going to the help there to be a new beginning for folks.”

The bishop leaves for Washington D.C. Tuesday.

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He’s the lead petitioner in a case going before the U.S. Supreme Court this week that challenges part of the Affordable Care Act. Specifically, whether church-related organizations have to pay for contraception as part of healthcare.

David Highfield