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Allegheny

Pittsburgh Catholic Diocese tells parishioners it will release names of priests accused of child sex abuse

Natasha Lindstrom
| Sunday, Aug. 5, 2018, 2:09 p.m.
Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro speaks at a press conference about former Catholic priest John Sweeney pleading guilty to a reduced misdemeanor charge of indecent assault, at the Westmoreland County Courthouse, in Greensburg, on Tuesday, July 31, 2018. His victim, identified only as Josh, stood beside Shapiro, as the attorney general described the sexual abuse that was forced on him as a 10 year old student at St. Margaret Mary Catholic School.
Dan Speicher | Tribune-Review
Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro speaks at a press conference about former Catholic priest John Sweeney pleading guilty to a reduced misdemeanor charge of indecent assault, at the Westmoreland County Courthouse, in Greensburg, on Tuesday, July 31, 2018. His victim, identified only as Josh, stood beside Shapiro, as the attorney general described the sexual abuse that was forced on him as a 10 year old student at St. Margaret Mary Catholic School.

Catholic churchgoers attending Mass in a six-county region this weekend received letters from Diocese of Pittsburgh Bishop David Zubik pledging to release the names of priests accused of child sex abuse once the results of a far-reaching grand jury investigation become public.

The report could be published as soon as this week. The 900-page document is expected to detail accusations against “over 300 predator priests” and examine decades of sexual abuse and cover-ups in six dioceses across the state, including Greensburg, Pittsburgh, Scranton and Allentown.

Zubik told parishioners they can expect a “sad and tragic description of events that occurred within the Church.” Nearly 90 percent of reported incidents happened before 1990, Zubik said.

He urged any other victims to come forward.

The letter was read aloud during weekend services and parishioners received copies.

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled that an edited version of the document may become public as early as Wednesday and no later than Aug. 14. The court ordered state Attorney General Josh Shapiro to prepare a copy of the report, with the names of those who filed objections blacked out along with any context that would point to their identities.

Read more local news happening in Pittsburgh and Allegheny County.

Natasha Lindstrom is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Natasha at 412-380-8514, nlindstrom@tribweb.com or via Twitter @NewsNatasha.

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