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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The board of directors at a local high school is considering removing the name of Cardinal Wuerl from its title.

The new school year is beginning with big questions looming over Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic High School. Will the school undergo a name change because of an online petition to drop Cardinal Wuerl’s name?

(Photo Credit: KDKA Photojournalist Bryce Lutz)

Monsignor Ron Lengwin, spokesman for the Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh, told KDKA-TV News Friday night, “People were saying, take the name of Cardinal Wuerl off the high school; so, the bishop thought he should talk to some people about this.”

After the release earlier this week of a grand jury report involving clergy sex abuse statewide, and how then-bishop, now-Cardinal Wuerl allegedly mishandled complaints about abusive priests, an online petition to strip the the school of the Archbishop of Washington’s name has already garnered about 5,000 signatures. The organizers’ new goal is 7,500 signatures.

North Catholic Principal Luke Crawford sent letters to parents saying the school’s Board of Directors will hold an executive session to look into the name change issue.

Crawford wrote: “Any decisions that are made need be made in light of the facts and not as a need jerk-reaction to newspaper headlines.”


“We’re not sure the whole story is out there,” Monsignor Lengwin said. “It may not be totally fair to the Cardinal.”

Recommendations will be forwarded by the School Board of Directors to a larger diocesan group that oversees all Catholic high schools, then the matter goes to Bishop David Zubik.

In a taping of this weekend’s KD\PG Sunday Edition, Bishop Zubik was asked if his predecessor had weighed in on the issue.

“I think that’s important for all of us to wait and see how that will all fall out,” Bishop Zubik said.

The entire show airs Sunday at 11:30 a.m.