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SEWICKLEY (KDKA) — The highest ranking U.S. Catholic Cardinal, Dan DiNardo, was back on home ground Saturday at the church where he was founding pastor.
Presiding over a packed mass at Saints John and Paul in Sewickley, he took time to meet and speak to parishioners, many who know him from his time at the church. Cardinal DiNardo called this a devastating time for the church and parishioners felt his presence here was unifying.
“Even though he is so holy and blessed that we are all human and we are not perfect and he is a perfect example of that,” parishioner Donna Wise said.
Cardinal DiNardo would not speak to the media because of his position as President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, but Pittsburgh Bishop David Zubik spoke on his behalf.
“I think he feels particularly sensitive that this isn’t his Diocese and he doesn’t want to speak for me, so I’m here so that I can speak to the camera,” Zubik said.
Bishop Zubik, who co-presided over the mass, read a letter to the faithful that will be aired at all Sunday masses throughout the Diocese. He spoke out again about the pain this has caused.
“I was ordained 43 years ago and I was ordained to try and get people into Heaven and that’s what we are all ordained to do, and to think that some people abused that responsibility and did horrific things to other people it makes me angry, it makes me sick,” Zubik said.
As for parishioners, many were trying to digest the upsetting events of the report and look forward to the future with hope.
“Christ is our person we look up to and not the individuals who may have gone astray,” parishioner John Yauch said.
“We pray for the church, we pray for the victims, we pray for the priests,” parishioner Barbara Yauch said.
In the letter, the bishop also outlined some important steps the church in Pittsburgh is taking. Those steps include hiring a monitor for priests who have had allegations made against them who have been removed from active ministry. A child protection expert has also been hired.