Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh contracts with outside firms for handling misconduct
The Diocese of Pittsburgh announced Tuesday plans to expand how it handles reports of suspected wrongdoing within the diocese including allegations of child sexual abuse.
The diocese has chosen Ethics Point as a third-party reporting system to receive questions related to suspected wrongdoing in parishes, schools or diocesan offices, Bishop David Zubik wrote in his pastoral letter.
The diocese has also contracted with CSI Investigators Inc. to assist in assessing allegations of child sexual abuse.
“All of these are important steps in our commitment to continually improve and expand the efforts that this diocese began decades ago to reach out to victims/survivors and to prevent abuse from occurring in the first place,” Zubik said in a press release.
Ethics Point allows parishioners, employees and volunteers to report suspected financial, professional or personal misconduct. More than 30 dioceses already use Ethics Point. The service will be available via hotline and online 24/7 and will allow people to make anonymous, secure reports in multiple languages. Contact information will be published once it is operational.
Ethics Point does not replace the clergy abuse hotline (888-808-1235) for reporting allegations of child sexual abuse or the obligation to report such abuse to PA Childline (800-932-0313) if the victim is still a minor.
Diocesan officials will continue to report all allegations of child sexual abuse to law enforcement.
CSI Investigators will staff the diocesan Office for Investigations and Monitoring. CSI employees will conduct any diocesan inquiry into allegations that would not be the purview of investigations by law enforcement or other civil authorities. CSI investigations do not replace civil investigations.
CSI will also work on the development of a plan to monitor clergy who were permanently removed from ministry due to substantiated allegations of child sexual abuse but who can’t be dismissed from the clerical state due to age, illness or canonical restriction.
Zubik has appointed Sister Anna Marie Gaglia of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Baden to succeed Rita Flaherty, who has been the diocesan victim assistance coordinator since 1993. She will retire at the end of the year. Gaglia will work alongside Flaherty for three months beginning Oct. 1.
Gaglia has worked as a family therapist, school guidance counselor, secondary and college teacher and school administrator. In addition to her undergraduate degree from Carlow University, she has a master’s degree in counseling from the University of Pittsburgh and has done advanced training at the Gestalt Institute of Cleveland.
She has most recently worked in organizational development and leadership coaching for religious communities and nonprofit organizations.