Father Edward Ganster
Diocese of Allentown
Assigned as follows:
- 1971-1975: Notre Dame (Bethlehem, PA)
- 1971-1972: Bethlehem Catholic High School
- 1973-1978: C.Y.O. Regional Director (Bethlehem)
- 1975-1976: Our Lady of Perpetual Help (Bethlehem, PA)
- 1976-1978: St. Joseph (Easton, PA)
- 1978-1981: St. Ignatius Loyola (Sinking Spring, PA)
- 1981-1982: St. Joseph (Frackville, PA)
- 1982: Absent on Sick Leave
- 1982-1983: St. Ambrose (Schuylkill Haven, PA)
- 1982-1983: Penn State Univ. Campus Ministry
- 1983-1986: Ss. Peter and Paul (Tower City, PA)
- 1984-1986: Cardinal Brennan High School
- 1986-1988: Holy Ghost (Bethlehem, PA)
- 1987-1988: Sick Leave
Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations against Fr. Edward Ganster:
Fr. Edward Ganster was ordained a priest in 1971, who served in multiple parishes in the Diocese of Allentown. According to media reports, in 2018, he was first named publicly as accused in the PA Grand Jury report. It noted that in 1987, Ganster was sent to inpatient treatment at Downington, a notorious treatment facility for pedophile priests in Pennsylvania.
Ganster has been the subject of multiple allegations of abuse over the years. In 2002, a man reported to the Diocese of Allentown that he was sexually abused by the priest when he was a 14-year-old boy at St. Joseph in Frackville, PA. The abuse often included physical abuse such as beatings. The man made a second report to the Diocese in 2004. The Diocese provided him with counseling yet, never reported the allegation to law enforcement until years later.
In 2005, a mother reported that her son was sexually abused by Ganster as a 13-year-old boy in 1978, when Ganster was assigned to St. Joseph in Easton. According to the grand jury report, he returned home from a beach trip with the priest and told his parents that something sexual happened. She immediately reported it to Msgr. Connelly of the Diocese of Allentown (in 1978), and was assured it would be addressed. Ganster was reassigned to a new parish the following week and continued in ministry for another decade.
In 2015, another mother reported to the Diocese of Allentown that her son was sexually abused during the summer of 1977 while Ganster was working at St. Joseph in Easton. No additional details about the allegation were provided in the grand jury report.
Ganster was removed from the priesthood (“laicized”) at his own request in 1990, so he could marry a woman he met in his inpatient treatment facility. During the laicization process, Ganster told the Diocese of Allentown that he intended to relocate to Orlando, Florida, to find work at Walt Disney World.
The Diocese provided him with a positive recommendation. The Diocese of Allentown knew that Ganster was a threat to public safety, yet it assisted him in obtaining employment at the world’s most recognized theme park for families. Ganster worked at Walt Disney World for 18 years.
He died in 2014.
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