Archive

ShareThis Page
Pittsburgh Catholic diocese disputes grand jury claim | TribLIVE.com
Allegheny

Pittsburgh Catholic diocese disputes grand jury claim

Dillon Carr
580423webpriest02

The Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh is disputing a state grand jury’s claim that Catholic Charities Fund money was used to cover parochial school bills for the children of a clergy sex abuse victim.

An alleged victim of former priest William Yockey received payments totaling nearly $55,000 that went toward his children’s Catholic school educations from 2012 to 2017. A grand jury report released in August detailing decades of sexual abuse in Pennsylvania dioceses said the money came from various diocesan funds, including a “Catholic Charities Fund.”

The Tribune-Review cited the payments in a Dec. 17 article about a lawsuit filed by an alleged victim of Yockey’s that accuses the diocese of covering up Yockey’s sexual abuse while he served at St. Bernadette Church in Monroeville in the 1980s.

Three days later, diocesan spokeswoman Ann Rogers said that “no money to assist victims of child sexual abuse by clergy came from Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Pittsburgh, which is incorporated separately from the diocese.”

Instead, the money came from the “Bishop’s Charities Account,” she said.

Rogers described that account as a “discretionary fund that the bishop may use for any cause he chooses.”

Referring to the family that received funding for Catholic school bills, Rogers said the children were already eligible for the funding “regardless of their personal history.”

“However, recognizing that one parent had suffered harm from a priest and nevertheless had chosen to raise his own children in the faith, the diocese offered to cover the remaining balance of the tuition,” Rogers said.

Joe Grace, a spokesman for the Attorney General’s office, said the office stands by the grand jury report.

“The Diocese of Pittsburgh was given the opportunity to review and respond to the entire grand jury report. It did, and that response is appended to the report. The conduct of the Diocese and Father Yockey was documented in the diocese’s own secret archives,” Grace said in an email.

The diocese’s formal response to the grand jury report, issued 10 days after the report’s release, did not dispute the origin of tuition funding for the family of Yockey’s victim.

Dillon Carr is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Dillon at 412-871-2325, [email protected] or via Twitter @dillonswriting.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.