Bishop Zubik offers Ash Wednesday Mass, comments on pastoral letter
Pittsburgh Bishop David Zubik celebrated the beginning of Lent during Mass at a packed St. Mary of Mercy Church in Downtown Pittsburgh on Ash Wednesday.
Zubik offered a full Mass but did not publicly address a pastoral letter, released Monday, in response to listening sessions after the release of an August grand jury report chronicling sexual abuse in the Catholic church.
“I released it on Monday so that it could get the attention that I hope it is getting,” Zubik told the Tribune-Review following the noon Mass. “Ash Wednesday becomes a time for us to take a look at what we all need to do to become closer to Jesus. So that was a reason why, that was intentional, to focus the attention to the letter on Monday so that we could give full focus to what Ash Wednesday is all about for all of us.”
He offered prayers for survivors and continued healing of the church at the end of Mass.
“The No. 1 issue we have to focus on is the healing of victim-survivors,” Zubik said. “The first of the action plans addresses a number of different ways we really want to reach out.”
The response to the letter has been supportive so far, Zubik said.
“The important thing that I want people to also understand is this is just, it’s another step,” Zubik said. “This isn’t the end all and the be all of all that I’m inviting everybody to work with us, and the church, to be able to address.”
The start of Lent is marked by Catholics by receiving ashes on the forehead, “a reminder that all have sinned and have need for reflection, prayer and penance,” according to the diocese.
Jamie Martines is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Jamie at 724-850-2867, firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter .