Pennsylvania priest accused of child sex abuse got job at Walt Disney World

A priest accused in the Pennsylvania abuse scandal was given a reference by his diocese and went on to work at Walt Disney World for 18 years, it has emerged.

Rev Edward George Ganster was one of 301 "predator priests" identified in a huge report into abuses by Catholic clergymen in the US state stretching back 70 years.

According to the report the diocese knew about his "sexual transgressions" in 1990 but still gave him a reference to work at the "happiest place on Earth".

Following one allegation he was moved to another parish and, when there were further accusations, he was place on sick leave.

He then left the priesthood and applied to work at Walt Disney World in Florida, securing the job with a reference from his Pennsylvania diocese.

The reference letter 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.”

The former priest went on to operate a train for families visiting the theme park. He died in 2014.

Following the release of the landmark report by a grand jury victims told their stories of abuse.

Carolyn Fortney, 37, one of five sisters abused by the same clergyman, said: "It’s very lonely. Especially when it’s your word against God’s."   In a statement her family said: "While five sisters were the first victims, our family and second generations continue to be impacted. The depth of this abuse has been life-altering for this and future generations."

James VanSickle, 55, who has accused a Pennsylvania priest of abusing him as a teenager, said: "I think that all of us will have a hole in our soul for the rest of our lives. Healing is impossible.”

Robert Corby, 83, said: "A priest, in 1948, would abuse you. Who would have believed me?” Shaun Dougherty, 48, said: "It doesn’t ever go away. It has an effect on you for the rest of your life.”

Leave a Reply