Skip to comments.[Harrisburg PA] Bishop Gainer: A sad, dark chapter for Harrisburg Diocese
Posted on 08/03/2018 4:36:03 PM PDT by markomalley
As many of you have read, the Diocese of Harrisburg has released information and policy changes regarding child sex abuse. I wanted to take this opportunity to express my great sadness at the horror that innocent children were the victims of egregious actions committed against them. Many of those victimized as children continue, as survivors, to suffer from the harm they experienced. In my own name, and in the name of the Diocesan Church of Harrisburg, I 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.
As we willingly acknowledge our sinfulness, as we humbly seek the forgiveness of those who have been wronged, we pray that healing will come to the entire Church when we renew our commitment each day to respond to the call to holiness we all share and to the mission of our Church entrusted to us by the Lord Jesus himself.
While we seek forgiveness in the name of our Church, we encourage survivors to come forward so that their healing may begin.
As has been publicly reported, the Diocese previously intended to publish a list of clergy with allegations of sexual abuse against them in September 2016, yet the Office of Attorney General requested, in order to protect its then-ongoing investigation, that the Diocese stand down on that effort. The Diocese honored that request.
Now, however, with the investigation at an end and the Supreme Court ordering a stay of the full report pending review, we have directed that a list again be made available at our new website at www.youthprotectionhbg.com.
This internal review has caused the Diocese to take a frank look at its past as well as its present. Part of that assessment was an evaluation by the Diocese of whether any lingering symbols of the sad history revealed in the Dioceses files remain. Specifically, the Diocese evaluated whether the names carried on certain buildings, rooms, and halls in the Diocese should remain.
I have determined that anyone who has been accused of sexual misconduct and appears on our list will have his name removed from any place of honor throughout the Diocese.
As a result of a careful review of historical cases, it was also clear that the leadership of the Church did not in every case take adequate measures when handling matters related to offending clerics. With that reality, and after reviewing information with our legal counsel, along with the unanimous recommendation of the Committee on Naming, which was convened to advise me on these matters, I have directed that the name of every Bishop since 1947, the beginning date of the Grand Jurys investigation, be removed from any building, facility, or room in the Diocese. I agree with the recommendations that I have received from my advisers on these matters and have instructed Diocesan staff to begin efforts to change names, effective immediately. Because there are no records of these matters during the tenure of Bishop McDevitt, and since the investigation extended back to 1947, 125 years after his death, there will be no change to the naming of Bishop McDevitt High School.
During my time as bishop, I can assure you that the Diocese, with the guidance of experts in child protection and law enforcement, has done everything in our power to put into place all the safeguards necessary to provide for the well-being and protection of the children entrusted to our care. I can also ensure you that any accusation against any Diocesan personnel is reported immediately to law enforcement.
We are and have been committed to honesty, transparency and commitment to ensuring the safety of our children in all matters.
The Diocese has taken additional measures and continues to improve our efforts to protect children, including:
While we have discussed this dark chapter, I believe it is important that we recognize the positive work the Church does by acting as a spiritual center for our community and the work we do to help those in need.
In addition to being a place of worship for the Catholic community in our area, Catholic Charities offers a variety of services for the entire community.
Last year, Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Harrisburg Inc. spent $8.4 million dollars funding a variety of programs to help the needy. The Church fills a variety of critical support functions in the community helping those of all backgrounds, faiths and economic standing, and in particular our youth.
While we are talking about a sad chapter and some bad actors, I do want to acknowledge all of the faithful members of clergy who have been doing a tremendous amount of great work in a tough environment. As bishop, I am proud to work with these dedicated priests and deacons who are an authentic presence of Gods love in their ministries in our Diocese.
In closing, I pray that the love of our God, whose tenderness and compassion endures in every age, will continue to restore those who are survivors of all abuse, physical, mental, emotional and sexual.
I pray that the loving heart of Jesus will form us more and more each day into a community that works for justice, protecting those who are most vulnerable in our society, especially our children.
I pray the Holy Spirit of Wisdom will guide those whose life work and ministry calls them to care for those who suffer violence and abuse.
Good for him, but he's been bishop since 2014. It took him 4 years to figure this out?
Again we see this description of “child abuse” in general temrs , but without reference to the fact, that most victims are boys and young men.
In other words , they are avoiding the issue of homosexuality entirely.
‘It took him 4 years to figure this out?’
had to wait for the legal process to play out...nobody would’ve done differently...Bishop Gainer went to school with my brother-in-law, he’s a decent guy, but, yeah, he’s spinning like a top now, too little too late...
I hope Donna Wuerl is quivering in his loafers.
It should not be up to civil authorities to expose the homosexual rot in the Church.
Don’t worry, they won’t!
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