Former Pittsburgh Diocese Consultant On How The Church Can Move Forward

Aug 16, 2018

The grand jury report on abuse within six Catholic Dioceses in Pennsylvania contains several dark allegations against the Diocese of Pittsburgh, including cover-ups and a child pornography ring within the jury. Altogether, 99 former clergy members are named as alleged abusers in the report.

Mike DeVanney is a partner at Cold Spark, a marketing firm that previously worked with the Pittsburgh Diocese. He said to rehabilitate its image, the Diocese should acknowledge its past failures and highlight what it's done to improve.

"This is going to a time of cleansing, I think it's a time of pain," DeVanney said. "But I also think this is going to be an opportunity for new people to step up, new leaders to lead a renewal."

DeVanney is also a member of the Diocese.

After the report was released, the Diocese of Pittsburgh said it had made strides in recent decades to better report allegations of abuse. However, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests is calling for Bishop David Zubik to step down.

Zubik is named over 100 times in the sweeping report, which alleges the Bishop helped relocated purported predatory priests.

Outside St. Paul's Cathedral in Oakland on Wednesday, Joe Wasserman of Pittsburgh said it's up to someone else to decide if Zubik purposely covered up abuse.

"If he did, it was an unfortunate mistake and he'll have to pay for it in some way," Wasserman said.

But, he said he feels Zubik is trying to do the right thing, a sentiment echoed by parishioner Rosalie Ferebee.

"I think it's easy to crucify the person who is in that role, to pin everything on them because they're our leader," Ferebee said. "But the church is made up of humans."

After the report was released, Zubik said he would not step down from his role.