These two words have been spoken many times over the past several weeks. Yet they are not just words, but a promise. They are a promise to the people of the Diocese of Harrisburg that the church described in the Grand Jury Report is not the church of today and it will never be the church of tomorrow.
I assure each of you that the Diocese of Harrisburg has learned from its past mistakes. Today, our schools, parishes and youth organizations are some of the safest places for children and young people to gather. But I won’t ask you to just accept my word; rather, accept the facts collected over a period of decades. The Grand Jury Report paints a painful, sinful, corrupt picture of the church. We are no longer that church.
While these dark clouds have descended upon us, there will be brighter days ahead. Our efforts to protect children will never cease and our actions will speak far louder than our words.
I make each one of you this promise, this pledge: the Harrisburg Diocese will implement faithfully our revised Youth Protection Policy and will continue to do everything we can to ensure the safety and well-being of our children.
Pray with me that God will grant us all the grace to meet these challenges with a spirit of humility and courage.
Yours in Christ,
Most Rev. Ronald W. Gainer
Bishop of the Diocese of Harrisburg