Pennsylvania Bishops Hold “Forgiveness” Mass [VIDEO]

The Associated Press reports:

A Pennsylvania bishop named in a grand jury report on rampant sexual abuse by Roman Catholic clergy said Friday he has “profound remorse” and offers his “heartfelt apology” to the victims. Speaking at a Mass of Forgiveness, Harrisburg Bishop Ronald Gainer opened by reading the first paragraph 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 of the priests named in the report served in the Harrisburg diocese.

While acknowledging the church is faced with a “spiritual crisis,” Gainer said most of the abuse happened long ago. The diocese has taken “significant and effective measures to protect our children and remove any person who intends to do harm to them,” he said. The grand jury report criticized Gainer for failing to advocate the defrocking of an abusive priest. The diocese defended Gainer, saying he took swift action against that priest and another abusive priest after becoming bishop in 2014.

The York Tribune reports:

Bishop Edward Malesic asked forgiveness from every member of his diocese who attended Sunday morning Mass, in the wake of a tumultuous week of fallout from the grand jury report on decades of abuse in six Catholic dioceses in Pennsylvania.

“I grieve for you and I grieve with you,” Malesic said to the victims of clergy sexual abuse during a pre-recorded homily played for parishioners in all Diocese of Greensburg parishes on Aug. 19. “I am truly proud of the victims who came forward to tell their story, and I’d encourage others to do the same.”

The grand jury report accused 20 priests in the Greensburg diocese, and 99 in the neighboring Pittsburgh diocese. Parishioners at Blessed Sacrament in Greensburg were told in advance that the bishop would “speak frankly,” and families with younger children were given an opportunity to head downstairs to the church’s social hall.