Pennsylvania Diocese Releases List of 71 Names of Priests, Deacons and Other Church Figures Accused of Child Sex Abuse

The Most Rev. Ronald Gainer, the Roman Catholic bishop of the diocese of Harrisburg, Pa., discusses child sexual abuse by clergy and a decision by the diocese to remove names of bishops going back to the 1940s after concluding they did not respond adequately to abuse allegations, Wednesday, Aug. 1, 2018 during a news conference in Harrisburg, Pa. The bishop apologized to victims and said the diocese is posting an online list of 71 priests and others in the church accused of the abuse. Following the Erie, Pa., diocese, the Harrisburg diocese is the second Pennsylvania diocese to get ahead of a roughly 900-page grand jury report that could be made public in August 2018, which the Pennsylvania Supreme Court said found more than 300 “predator priests” in six of the state’s eight dioceses. (AP Photo/Mark Scolforo)

A Pennsylvania-based Roman Catholic diocese has released a list of clergy and other church-affiliated figures accused of sexually abusing minors.

The Diocese of Harrisburg announced the release of the list of 71 names, which included 37 priests, three deacons, six seminarians, and 16 others from religious communities.

All of the figures named on the list had ties to the diocese, with the allegations going as far back as the 1940s. The diocese cautioned in its report that those on the list were not necessarily guilty.

“The term ‘accused’ is emphasized to note that the list below includes summations of accusations; the list does not include assessments of credibility or guilt,” explained the report.

Bishop Ronald W. Gainer, head of the diocese, said in a statement on Wednesday that compiling the list came “with great sadness,” because “once again we come face-to-face with the horror that innocent children were the victims of egregious acts.”

“I am saddened because I know that behind every story is the face of a child precious in God’s sight; a child who has been wounded by the sins of those who should have known better,” said Gainer.

Gainer also offered an apology “to the survivors of child sex abuse, the Catholic faithful and the general public” and then noted the measures the Church was taking “to ensure that these types of atrocities never occur again.”

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Michael Gryboski