HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — A Pennsylvania bishop named in a grand jury report on rampant sexual abuse by Roman Catholic clergy says he has “profound remorse” and offers his “heartfelt apology” to the victims.
Harrisburg Bishop Ronald Gainer spoke Friday at a Mass of forgiveness. Gainer read the opening of this week’s stunning report that said more than 300 predator priests had abused more than 1,000 children in six Pennsylvania dioceses. Forty-five served in the Harrisburg diocese.
Gainer says the church is faced with a “spiritual crisis” but adds that most of the abuse happened long ago.
The grand jury report criticized Gainer for failing to advocate the defrocking of an abusive priest. The diocese insists Gainer worked to get that priest and another abusive priest out of the church swiftly after becoming bishop in 2014.