71 Names erased

U.S. Bishop Robert Gainer draws conclusions from abuse scandal. He has published a list of 71 abusers from his diocese of Harrisburg and has all names removed from church buildings.

The Bishop of Harrisburg in the state of Pennsylvania, Robert Gainer, has drawn conclusions from the abuse scandal within the Catholic Church in the USA. Names of former dignitaries and priests suspected of abuse are to be removed from all churches and other buildings in the diocese, effective immediately.

More than 300 priests and numerous bishops

This was Gainer's reaction, according to media reports (Thursday local time), even before the publication of a report by an investigative commission in Pennsylvania on sexual abuse in its own ranks. The report could name more than 300 priests and numerous bishops as abusers of the past seven decades.

Harrisburg is among six dioceses in a heavily Catholic region of Pennsylvania pushing for the release of the grand jury report. Last year, the Harrisburg diocese, along with the Greensburg diocese, was still trying to end the grand jury investigation, according to a report in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

"Long overdue"

Now Bishop Gainer released a list of names of 71 clergy, seminarians and church personnel accused of sexual abuse since the 1940s and ordered their names removed from all church buildings.

Joe Grace, a spokesman for Attorney General Josh Shapiro, called the release of the names "long overdue". Although the jury report has been ready for weeks, its release has been delayed by objections from people identified in it. The Supreme Court recently decided to allow publication in a redacted Fang. The report examines allegations from the dioceses of Allentown, Erie, Greensburg, Harrisburg, Pittsburgh and Scranton.

Bishops' Conference in November

The president of the U.S. bishops' conference, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, stressed Wednesday that the abuse allegations would be pursued with the "full authority" of the church. The ie is expected to be at the top of the agenda at the annual meeting of the bishops' conference in November.

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