Pittsburgh bishop announces Year of Repentance

Pittsburgh, Pa., Sep 12, 2018 / 11:01 am (CNA/EWTN News).- In the wake of recent sex abuse scandals, Bishop David Zubik of Pittsburgh has announced a Year of Repentance in the diocese.

He has asked all the clerics to fast and pray for the purification of the Church, and invited all Catholics to join the initiative.

“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,” Bishop Zubik wrote in a Sept. 10 letter to the clerics and seminarians of the diocese.

“I invite the faithful to join with the clergy as they desire in our acts of prayer and penance. The year is open to individuals to go beyond what I am requesting as we continue to pray that the Lord come to our aid.”

The Year of Repentance will include the observance of the Ember Days, which were traditionally days of fast and abstinence.

Bishop Zubik has asked that on each of the 12 Ember Days in the coming year, clerics of the Diocese of Pittsburgh fast, abstain from meat, and make a Holy Hour.

Ember Days are tied to the seasons of the year, and are held on the Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday of four weeks: the third week of September, the third week of Advent, the first week of Lent, and the octave of Pentecost.

In the Pittsburgh diocese’s Year of Repentance, the Ember Days fall Sept. 19, 21, and 22, 2018, Dec. 19, 21, 22, 2018, March 13, 15, 16, 2019, and June 12, 14, 15, 2019.

Bishop Zubik will inaugurate the Year of Repentance Sept. 23 with Vespers and a Holy Hour at the cathedral.

The year will close with a Mass for the Assumption Aug. 15, 2019 to serve “as a sign of hope and healing for victims and for renewal in the Church through the intercession of Mary.”

In his letter, Bishop Zubik also encouraged the clerics of Pittsburgh to consider restoring the recitation of the prayer to St. Michael after all Masses.

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  1. Let’s see if I have this straight. The bewildered clerics and savagely wounded faithful of the Diocese of Pittsburgh are being commanded by their bishop, hand-picked by disgraced Lavender Mafia Cardinal Wuerl, to fast and pray for “mercy” and “hope and healing” as the direct result of uncountable and unimaginable acts of homosexual rape, child pornography, and sacrilege committed by 99+ priests identified by the Pennsylvania Attorney General. Bishop Zubik’s clerical diktat is silent on what penance and prayer he has imposed upon either Cardinal Wuerl or himself for these unspeakable atrocities. The diktat is also silent on what penance and prayer have been imposed on the 99+ identifiable homosexual priest-rapists who committed these crimes. The diktat is further silent on why the faithful and clerics of the Diocese of Pittsburgh are being implicitly being held guilty of these crimes and are being required to perform penance for acts of which they have been the innocent victims.

    Before anything else and as an absolute precondition, “mercy” and “hope and healing” are only possible once the cancer of grievous sin — in this case, the grievous sin of pervasive clerical homosexual perversion — has been cut out and removed. Bishop Zubik and his clerical “Year of Repentance” diktat are silent on any concrete and specific steps that are being undertaken to uproot the pervasive clerical homosexual perversion that has been the cause of the crisis his flock now faces.

    I would submit that Bishop Zubik’s “Year of Repentance” diktat is nothing other than yet another spin in the delay-deflect-and-deny cycle that has been the cynical strategy of bishops in the this country for 55 years. The repentance that is needed is Bishop Zubik’s. The penance and prayer that are needed are Bishop Zubik’s. The resignation and disgrace, whether voluntary or forced, are Bishop Zubik’s. Without these, the sham and the cover-up will continue in the Diocese of Pittsburgh and the only real “repentance” will be that of his flock that still again they have been deceived and manipulated.

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