Log In

Ronald William Gainer Edit Profile

Catholic priest

Ronald William Gainer is an American prelate of the Roman Catholic Church.


Ronald Gainer was born in Pottsville, Pennsylvania, as an only child to parents of Eastern European descent.


Bachelor, St. Charles Borromeo Seminary, Philadelphia, 1969. Master of Divinity, St. Charles Borromeo Seminary, Philadelphia, 1973. Juris Canonici Licentiatus in Canon Law, Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome, 1986.


He is the eleventh and current Bishop of Harrisburg, in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. He previously served as the second Bishop of Lexington in Kentucky, before being named to Harrisburg. He was ordained to the priesthood on May 19, 1973.

Gainer served as pastor of Holy Trinity Church in Whitehall. Within the Diocese of Allentown, he served as Secretary of the Diocesan Tribunal, Secretary for Catholic Life and Evangelization, and Judicial Vicar. He did his graduate studies at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, earning a Licentiate in canon law in 1986.

He was raised to the rank of Honorary Prelate of His Holiness on August 20, 1991. On December 13, 2002, Gainer was appointed the second Bishop of Lexington, Kentucky, by Pope John Paul II. He received his episcopal consecration on the following February 22 from Archbishop Thomas Cajetan Kelly, OP, with Bishops Edward Peter Cullen and Joseph Edward Kurtz serving as co-consecrators. In 2004, Gainer urged pro-choice Catholic politicians to refrain from receiving Communion.

On January 24, 2014, Gainer was appointed the eleventh Bishop of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, by Pope Francis. He was installed on the following March 19 in the Cathedral of St. Patrick, Harrisburg. Ban on female students in sports with physical contact On July 1, 2014, Gainer introduced a new policy prohibiting girls at Catholic schools in the Diocese of Harrisburg from participating in wrestling, tackle football, and tackle rugby whether or not they desire to compete in girls-only or co-ed matches.

The policy goes on to require male wrestlers to forfeit matches against female opponents, but does not bar tackle football or rugby teams from playing against teams which may have a girl on their team. According to the policy, the ban applies to sports "...that involve substantial and potentially immodest physical contact".