Father Joseph Ganter
Diocese of Pittsburgh
Assigned as Follows:
- 1922-1923: Saint’s Peter & Paul (Pittsburgh, PA)
- 1923-1932: St. Martin Church (West End, Pittsburgh, PA)
- 1932-1942: St. Athanasius Church (West View, PA)
- 1942-1964: St. Boniface Church (Penn, PA)
Summary of Allegations Against Father Joseph M. Ganter:
Fr. Joseph Ganter was ordained a priest in 1922, who served in the Diocese of Pittsburgh. According to media reports, in 2008, an 80-year-old male said he was abused by the priest when he was about ten years old in the 1930s at St. Anthanasius. Additionally, he said he knew of five other adolescent boys that had inappropriate sexual relations with Fr. Ganter. The Diocese of Pittsburgh reviewed his file and discovered accusations of child sexual abuse from 1944. An adult parishioner reported to the Chancery that Fr. Ganter had engaged in sexual misconduct with three different teenage boys at St. Boniface.
According to the man making the complaint, the first victim was around 14 years old when Fr. Ganter requested he perform a sex act in the priest’s office. The boy panicked and cried, then Fr. Ganter gave him money and told him not to say anything about it to anyone. The second victim was 15 when the same thing happened to him. Like the first victim, this boy refused. Fr. Ganter then gave him a bingo ticket and some money and told him not to tell anyone. The third victim was a teenager when he and Fr. Ganter were seen engaged in sexual activity in the parish house by another boy.
According to the grand jury report, it was Fr. Ganter, not the Diocese of Pittsburgh, who requested that the allegations be investigated by a local Justice of the Peace. When interviewed, according to the JP, the boys gave inconsistent statements or denied any sexual contact with the priest, which is, of course, not uncommon for scared teenage boys. The matter was closed and Fr. Ganter remained in ministry for another 20 years.
Fr. Ganter died in 1965, about a year after he retired as a priest in good standing. The Diocese of Pittsburgh now includes Fr. Ganter on its list of accused priests who were not accused until after their deaths, despite the overwhelming facts to the contrary.
Fr. Ganter was first named publicly as accused in a priest profile in the 2018 Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report.
Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Pittsburgh. If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in Pennsylvania, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Diocese of Pittsburgh may have legal options, but filing deadlines will apply so do not delay in reaching out to us.