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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Bishop David Zubik, the leader of the Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh, is calling for a Year of Repentance in light of the grand jury report detailing allegations of sexual abuse in six dioceses.
The year will begin with a Mass at Saint Paul Cathedral in Oakland next Sunday, Sept. 23, and continue through Aug. 15, 2019, on the Solemnity of the Assumption of Mary.
In a press release, Bishop Zubik said: “Faced with the sinful actions of the members of our own ranks of the clergy, who are called to manifest the example of Christ, we feel both shame and sorrow, and are reminded of our own sinfulness and the need for mercy.”
The grand jury report was released last month, on Aug. 14, and naming hundreds of alleged “predator priests” in in six Pennsylvania dioceses, including Pittsburgh and Greensburg.
Throughout the year, Bishop Zubik is calling for special observances on Ember Days. Those include: Sept. 19, 21, 22 and Dec. 19, 21, 22 in 2018. Then, in 2019, on March 13, 15, 16 and June 12, 14, 15.
During those days, Bishop Zubik is asking clergy to fast and abstain from meat, and have a Holy Hour of prayer.
He is also asking priests around the Diocese to consider restoring the practice of reciting the Prayer to Saint Michael the Archangel after all Masses, which is a prayer for protecting the faithful against all evil.
“I invite the faithful to join with the clergy as they desire in our acts of prayer and penance. The year it open to individuals to go beyond what I am requesting as we continue to pray that the Lord come to our aid,” Bishop Zubik said.