List: Accused priests with ties to Harrisburg diocese

By Brandie Kessler
York Daily Record
August 9, 2016

Susan Blum holds her First Communion veil and her maternal grandmother's rosary for a portrait Wednesday, July 20, 2016, at Blum's New Freedom home. Blum, 63, said she was sexually assaulted by a clergy member in the Archdiocese of Boston when she was 15. A New Freedom resident since 1988, Blum had attended St. John the Baptist Catholic Church for years, but left in March after clergy in the Diocese of Harrisburg read aloud a letter that opposed a Pennsylvania legislative bill that would drop a 30-year statute of limitations on when criminal sex-abuse charges can be filed.
Photo by Chris Dunn

A five-month investigation by the York Daily Record found evidence of allegations of sexual abuse against 15 priests with ties to the Harrisburg diocese.

Their names were provided through news reports, court documents, information from the Harrisburg diocese, interviews with attorneys and others, or from, a website that tracks reporting and public documents about accused clergy.

The Harrisburg diocese said survivors of clergy abuse should report the abuse to law enforcement, the state ChildLine number at 1-800-932-0313, and to the diocese at 1-800-626-1608.

Here are details about each of the priests identified by the York Daily Record's investigation:

  • In April 2002, John G. Allen was "confronted by the Diocese with a credible accusation" from an incident 23 years earlier, the diocese said. Allen was pastor at St. Margaret Mary Parish in Harrisburg at the time of the accusation, and he resigned. He was removed from all active ministry, the diocese said, and is now laicized, a term that means he made a request to be removed from the priesthood. According to "The Official Catholic Directory," Allen was the director of Catholic Youth Activities for the Harrisburg diocese from 1976 to 1977 and from 1979 to 1980.
  • Alleged abuse by John Bostwick III took place during 1980 to 1982 and was reported to the diocese in 1996, the diocese said. By then, it said, Bostwick had been reassigned to the Diocese of Richmond, which was notified, and Bostwick was removed from ministry. The Harrisburg diocese said Bostwick had been assigned to Mount St. Mary's College by the Richmond diocese and helped on weekends with Masses at St. Catherine Laboure Parish in Harrisburg. The Rev. John R. Bostwick III is listed as a contact for Coventry at Horseshoe Mountain in Roseland, Virginia, on the Nelson County, Virginia website. Bostwick could not be reached for comment.
  • Gerald Bugge was assigned to St. Anthony of Padua in Lancaster from Aug. 19, 1986, until April 19, 1988, according to the Harrisburg diocese. Bugge was named on a list of priests issued by the Archdiocese of Baltimore in September 2002. The list included priests who had served in the archdiocese and who had been accused, in their lifetimes, of child sexual abuse. The archdiocese posted on its website that, "In 1985, Father Gerald Bugge admitted to engaging in inappropriate sexual activities with a minor in 1985. These allegations were reported to the Redemptorists, and Father Bugge's faculties were removed." The Harrisburg diocese said there is no record of a credible allegation against Bugge while he was assigned to the diocese. Bugge is dead.
  • William Geiger was assigned to Our Mother of Perpetual Help in Ephrata from July 19, 1987, to Aug. 19, 1993, and from Aug. 19, 1999, to June 20, 2007, the diocese said, and to St. Anthony of Padua in Lancaster from April 19, 1994, to Aug. 20, 1999. In 2002, court records show, attorney David Zoll filed a lawsuit against Geiger and another priest on behalf of three men who said the priests molested them when they were boys. The alleged abuse occurred in the 1970s at a church in Lima, Ohio, said Zoll, of Toledo. His clients settled with the diocese in 2004. A Harrisburg diocese spokesman said the diocese did not have a record of a credible allegation against Geiger while he worked there. Geiger is dead.
  • Augustine Giella was at a church in the Harrisburg diocese from March 1983 to May 1988. In 1992, after Giella had left the Harrisburg diocese and started working in the Archdiocese of Newark, the Harrisburg diocese received an allegation of abuse against him. The alleged abuse began in 1983, the Harrisburg diocese said. The diocese said it informed the Archdiocese of Newark, and Giella was prosecuted. According to, Giella retired in 1989. An article published by the Asbury Park Press on Aug. 12, 1992, said Giella pleaded not guilty to charges that he sexually assaulted an 11-year-old girl. An article published by the York Daily Record on Dec. 6, 1994, indicated that after Giella was arrested in 1992, police investigating the case said they received calls “from numerous women claiming they had been molested by the priest while he was stationed in New Jersey in the 1960s.” Giella died in 1993.
  • Reginald Krakovsky was assigned to St. Joseph's church in York from 1957-1958, according to a report from the Pennsylvania Attorney General's office. The church is now in Springettsbury Township. In March, Krakovsky was named in a grand jury report following an investigation into leaders of a Franciscan religious order. Krakovsky, who died in 1997 at age 73, sexually abused two boys between 1963 and 1964 at a church in Minnesota, according to the grand jury report. In March, the Rev. Stephen Fernandes, pastor at St. Joseph's Church, said he was unfamiliar with the news until he learned about it from a reporter. Krakovsky was assigned to churches in Oregon and Pennsylvania prior to his assignment in York, and he had assignments in Pennsylvania, Minnesota, West Virginia and Slovakia after his time in York, according to the grand jury report. The Harrisburg diocese, however, said in July that it had no record of Krakovsky being assigned to the diocese.
  • Thomas F. Lawler was assigned to churches in the Harrisburg diocese for at least 22 years from the 1960s to the 1980s. According to his obituary published in the Boston Globe in October 1987, Lawler was ordained in 1955 and entered Sacred Heart Fathers Seminary in Latrobe, Pa., in 1964. While working at Sacred Heart Church in Lewisburg, Lawler died "unexpectedly in his parish rectory" in 1987, according to his obituary. The Harrisburg diocese said it has received allegations of abuse against Lawler since his death, but had not received any allegations while Lawler was living.
  • David Luck was named in an article published by the Patriot-News on June 30, 2006. The article references a report in "The Catholic Witness," the Harrisburg diocese's weekly newspaper, which said Luck had been defrocked. The Patriot-News article said Luck was a priest at St. Joseph Roman Catholic Church in Mechanicsburg 18 years prior when he was removed from all ministry because of a report involving a minor. The Harrisburg diocese said in July that Luck served as a deacon at St. Paul the Apostle Parish in Annville in the summer of 1986 and the spring of 1987, and as a priest at St. Joseph Parish, Mechanicsburg, from June 19, 1987 to Jun. 1, 1989. The diocese said alleged abuse took place in October 1986 and was reported in December 1988, and Luck was removed from all ministry. He was "formally dismissed from the cleric state and can no longer serve in ministry," the Harrisburg diocese wrote in a statement. The York Daily Record was unable to reach Luck.
  • Guy Marsico was assigned to Assumption Blessed Virgin Mary in Lebanon County (1974 to 1975 and 1977 to 1978); St. Leo the Great in Rohrerstown, Lancaster County (1976 and 1979 to 1982); St. Rose of Lima in York County (1983 to 1985); and St. Gregory the Great in Lebanon County (1986 to 1994), according to "The Official Catholic Directory." In April 2011, the Patriot-News reported that a Lancaster County man said he was sexually abused by Marsico at St. Rose of Lima Church in York in the 1980s when he was a boy. No records could be found to show whether Marsico was charged. He could not be reached for comment. The Rev. Paul Schenck, who was filling in for St. Rose's pastor Rev. Paul Fisher, who was out of town, said on July 29 that he didn't have any details about Marsico's assignment at St. Rose or details about any allegations. The Harrisburg diocese said Marsico was removed from all ministry and was laicized. It said alleged abuse took place "beginning approximately in 1981" and was first reported to the diocese in June 1994.
  • James E. Noel, born in York, graduated from York Catholic High School in 1943 and, according to an article in The Gazette and Daily, was ordained in the Harrisburg diocese in April 1954. The Harrisburg diocese said Noel died in 1980, and that the diocese received allegations of abuse against Noel after his death but not while he was alive.
  • Joseph Pease was assigned to three churches in York County in the 1960s and 1970s: St. Joseph’s in Hanover and St. Patrick’s in York in the 1960s, and St. John The Baptist Church in New Freedom between 1973 and 1979. Pease was accused in 1995 of allegedly sexually abusing a child in 1972. The Harrisburg diocese did not release details about the alleged abuse, including where it occurred, but said in a statement issued in July that "after a credible accusation and subsequent admission of sexual abuse 30 years prior," Pease was removed from active ministry in 2002. Articles published by the York Daily Record in 2003 say Pease resigned as the pastor of Mount Carmel’s Divine Redeemer parish on Dec. 13, 2002, and admitted to officials at the Harrisburg diocese that details of an allegation of his inappropriate contact with an adolescent in the 1970s were true. A letter written by then-Bishop Nicholas Dattilo, dated Dec. 21, 2002, said Pease had withdrawn from all priestly ministry “because of his admission that he engaged in inappropriate sexual contact with an adolescent.” In the letter, Dattilo said, “I hold the well being of our children and youth as our primary concern.” Dattilo died in 2004. William H. Keeler, who was Harrisburg's bishop before Dattilo arrived in 1990, could not be reached. According to, the Vatican had not ruled on Pease’s case as of 2007. No records could be found to show whether Pease was charged. Pease could not be reached for comment. The Rev. Robert A. Yohe Jr., who has been pastor of St. John the Baptist for about a year, said no one from the parish has come to him with concerns about or allegations against Pease.
  • Raymond Prybis was assigned to St. Joseph's in Dallastown from April 1989 to June 1990, according to the Harrisburg diocese. The diocese said it has no record of a credible allegation of abuse against Prybis while he was at St. Joseph's. Prybis was assigned in the Boston Archdiocese before and after he was in Dallastown, and an allegation of abuse that allegedly occurred while he was assigned in the Boston archdiocese surfaced in the early 1990s. A man alleged that when he was 14 or 15, a naked Prybis approached him in the rectory of a Lowell, Mass. church and asked the boy to beat him with a belt. In July, the national director of personnel for Prybis' order said Prybis is living in a home for priests of his order, and is being supervised and kept away from situations where he could have contact with children.
  • Patrick Shannon was assigned to Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish in Lewisburg from August 1993 to November 2005, according to the Harrisburg diocese. "His Order informed the Diocese of an allegation against him that took place prior to his assignment here. We immediately removed him from ministry and offered counseling to anyone who desired it," the Harrisburg diocese wrote in a statement. The diocese said it has no record of a credible allegation against Shannon while he was assigned in the diocese. The York Daily Record was unable to reach Shannon.
  • James Shaughnessey was assigned to Assumption Blessed Virgin Mary in Lebanon and St. Joan of Arc in Hershey in the 1930s and 1940s, and moved to Boston in 1945, where he was brought on as a priest for the archdiocese in 1949, according to the Harrisburg diocese. He is among priests named by the Boston Archdiocese on its website, where it lists accused clergy. No details about the alleged abuse are listed on the website. Shaughnessey is on a list of clergy against whom Boston attorney Mitchell Garabedian has brought claims. Garabedian was unable to locate details or documents regarding the case. Shaughnessey is dead.
  • Frederick Vaughn was listed at St. Joseph's in York in the 1965 copy of "The Official Catholic Directory." He was assigned to St. Peter's in Elizabethtown from 1966 to 1970; St. Mark the Evangelist in Franklin County from 1971 to 1986; St. James in Dauphin County from 1987 to 1988; and retired in 1989, according to the directory. He died in 1992, according to the Harrisburg diocese. The diocese said it received allegations of abuse against Vaughn after his death but not while he was alive.


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