Amidst a massive grand jury report that revealed rampant child sexual abuse throughout Roman Catholic dioceses in Philadelphia, it’s been revealed that one of the ex-priests, Edward Ganster, was helped by the Catholic Church in securing a job at Disney World.
Edward Ganster worked at Disney World for 18 years before dying in 2014.
Here’s what you need to know.
1. Ganster Left the Priesthood in 1990
According to CBS News, Ganster left the priesthood in 1990, having worked as a priest since 1971. In the 1970’s, Ganster was accused by a mother of getting into bed with her son on an overnight trip and “hurting” him, per CBS.
In response the monsignor of the church told the mother that Ganster would be given counsel and reassigned to another church.
2. Ganster Was on Medical Leave at a Mental Health Hospital When He Sought Reassignment
According to CBS, Ganster was on sick leave at a Catholic mental health hospital and wanted to get married, and therefore requested that he receive a letter of recommendation from the diocese.
Ganster did not clarify why he wanted a recommendation for Disney World, specifically.
3. The Diocese Labeled Ganster’s Problems at the Time as ‘Partially Sexual’
Even when it was occurring, it appears that Ganster’s diocese was aware of his actions against children, as the report obtained by CBS confirmed that an Allentown bishop wrote to a bishop in Orlando that Ganster’s issues were “partially sexual,” and he therefore couldn’t reassign him.
Ganster’s monsignor reportedly pulled Ganster aside and told him they would give him a glowing letter of recommendation for work outside of the church. According to the report, the monsignor said, “I am quite sure that the Diocese will be able to give you a positive reference in regard to the work you did during your years of service here as a priest.”
Via The Washington Post, the report stated, “As he was in the process of being laicized, Ganster wrote the Diocese indicating he would be seeking employment at Walt Disney World and hoped to use the Diocese as a reference. Despite knowing Ganster was a sexual predator, Monsignor Muntone responded to Ganster’s request for a reference by writing.”
4. More Victims of Ganster Have Since Spoken Out About Their Experiences
Since Ganster’s death, more of his victims have spoken out about their experiences. One man reported that Ganster had fondled and beaten him repeatedly, and that Ganster had groped him, dragged him across the floor in his underwear, and even beaten him with a metal cross.
Attorney General Josh Shapiro said of the incident, “Priests were raping little boys and girls and the men of God who were responsible for them not only did nothing, they hid it all for decades.”
5. Ganster Spent His Time at Disney World Piloting Trains
According to The Washington Post, Ganster spent his time at Disney World piloting trains. After his passing, his wife, Mary Ganster wrote, “He really loved trains. His witness for Jesus was so strong.”
Neither Mary Ganster nor Walt Disney World reps have commented on the allegations against Ganster. He is now one of 300 priests who have been identified in a scaling report of child abuse in Pennsylvania.