Bishop Ronald Gainer of Harrisburg, Pa., made public the names of 71 priests and other Church officials accused of child sex abuse. The diocese waived confidentiality agreements so victims are free to speak. Additionally, Bishop Gainer is removing the names of all bishops since 1947 from any building in the diocese.
“I apologize to the survivors of child sex abuse, to the Catholic faithful and to the general public for the abuses that took place and for those church officials who failed,” Gainer said.
Gainer’s announcement came amid a heated court and public relations battle over a massive statewide grand jury report examining decades of child sex abuse claims and cover-ups in six Catholic dioceses: Allentown, Harrisburg, Scranton, Erie, Greensburg and Pittsburgh. The report, written after a two-year investigation by the state attorney general’s office, is hung up in legal wranglings before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. A redacted version of the report is expected to be released by Aug. 14.
“The Diocese of Allentown plans to post a list of credibly accused priests on its website on the day the grand jury report is released,” spokesman Matt Kerr said.