The Catholic Diocese of Harrisburg has announced a new bishop.
Most Reverend Ronald Gainer, 66, will succeed Bishop Joseph McFadden, who died suddenly in May.
Gainer spoke of his predecessor during a news conference Friday.
“His sudden passing was a sadness to all of us, and this local church continues in its own way to continue to grieve,” he said.
Gainer was born in Pottsville. He was ordained a priest for the diocese of Allentown in 1973, and installed as bishop of Lexington, Kentucky in 2003.
He said Catholic schools and getting young people involved in the church will be among his top priorities.
“You are getting people who are not going to parish hall or to Mass, but you can be available to them with a presentation and wonderful conversation and dialogue for young adults,” he said.
He added that the church will follow the lead of Pope Francis on inclusion.
“He has since said the moral assessment of homosexual actions are immoral, but the persons themselves who may experience an orientation of same-sex attraction have the dignity of God's children,” he said.
Gainer said he learned January 13 that he
would be the new leader of the Harrisburg diocese, which has almost 250,000
registered Catholics and comprises 15 counties in central Pennsylvania.
He will be installed March 19.