Some Priests Accused of Abuse and Removed from Ministry Land in Jobs Working with Kids
By Bill Bowman
May 18, 2019
At least two priests who served in the Harrisburg Diocese went onto other rolls involving youth after they left the church.
One who served a parish in Sunbury was removed as a part-time instructor for a Lehigh Valley-based drum corps last year. Another worked for more that two decades as a caseworker in the Mental Health/Intellectual and Development Disabilities section of the Human Services department in York County.
Donald Cramer served at St. Monica parish in Sunbury until the school closed in 2012. According to the diocese report, Cramer was investigated for possible child pornography possession, but the Department of Homeland Security found nothing criminal and didn’t investigate further.
Cramer is alive and, according to the Penn State World Campus website, is listed as a faculty member in labor and employment relations.
Cramer was let go by Youth Education in the Arts, the parent organization of the Cadets, in August, according to a report in the Allentown Morning Call. Leaders of the drum corps – which has members between the ages of 15 and 25 – said Cramer passed background checks since he was not charged in the investigation.
Cramer served St. Monica in Sunbury from June 2010 to August 2012, the year he took a leave of absence. Cramer requested and was granted dispensation from the priesthood by Pope Francis in 2014.
Between his leave of absence and dispensation, the Department of Homeland Security investigated Cramer for child pornography after he communicated online with an unidentified person later arrested on child pornography charges about wanting to “rent” boys in Mexico. The investigation closed after investigators found no evidence of child pornography on his computer. Some of the allegations against Cramer are redacted.
In York County, a priest who served in the Harrisburg diocese until his removal in 1990 spent more that two decades as a caseworker in the Mental Health/Intellectual and Development Disabilities section of the Human Services department according to published reports.
Father David H. Luck was named in last summer’s grand jury report. The grand jury report alleges Luck raped one boy and molested another. He was fired from his job with York County last September, according to the York Daily Record.
Reached at his home by the Daily Record, Luck declined to discuss the past allegations or his work with the county – which typically involved direct contact with many people who have mental disabilities. County officials said there were unaware of Luck’s past until he was named in the grand jury report.
Prior to the grand jury report, Luck was on a list of dozens of clergy whose names were released by the Harrisburg diocese following accusations. According to the list released by Bishop Ronald Gainer, there were two allegations of sexual abuse against Luck.
Bill Bowman is the managing editor of The Daily Item of Sunbury, Pa.