HARRISBURG, Pa. – The Roman Catholic Diocese of Harrisburg released the following statement regarding a recently filed lawsuit against the Diocese of Harrisburg, Bishop Kevin Rhoades and Bishop Ronald Gainer regarding alleged crimes.
Bishop Ronald Gainer said, “In my own name, and in the name of the Diocesan Church of Harrisburg, I continue to express our profound sorrow and apologize to the survivors of child sex abuse, the Catholic faithful and the general public for the abuses that took place and for those Church officials who failed to protect children.”
Diocesan Spokesperson Mike Barley added, “As our attorneys have not yet reviewed the complaint in question, it would be inappropriate for us to comment at this time. To be clear, the actions alleged in this complaint took place long before Bishop Gainer’s tenure in Harrisburg. Bishop Gainer has been open and transparent with regard to priest-child sexual abuse and had no knowledge of the priests mentioned in this lawsuit’s actions until research was conducted during the Grand Jury Process.
“Our Survivor Compensation Program is coming to a conclusion and we will be making a final report available once it is completed.”
The Diocese of Harrisburg has been active in supporting survivors and taking steps to ensure these atrocious actions never take place again.
The Diocese’s website, www.youthprotectionhbg.com, contains information on how to report child sexual abuse, contact information for the Victim Assistance Office and detailed information on how our Diocese has confronted this issue. In addition to the Survivor Compensation Program, Bishop Gainer contracted with former Pennsylvania State Police Captain Janet McNeal to review and oversee our Youth Protection activities.
Nearly one year ago, Bishop Gainer released a list of clergy and seminarians accused of sexual abuse of minors. This list is available at www.youthprotectionhbg.com. The Diocese emphasized that this was a list of accusations; and we made no assessments of credibility or guilt in creating this list. The Diocese has also released a document outlining the years of service and assignment locations, within the Diocese, for all individuals on the list. As with all new allegations, each was reported directly to law enforcement immediately.
Additionally, Bishop Gainer announced that those who have been accused of sexual misconduct, and appear on our list, will have their names removed from any position of honor throughout the Diocese. Bishop Gainer has directed that the name of every Bishop since 1947, the beginning date of the Grand Jury’s investigation, be removed from any building, facility, or room in the Diocese.
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