Catholic Priest

Anthony McGinley

Ordained: 1945
Diocese: Diocese of Harrisburg

From Report I of the 40th Statewide Investigating Grand Jury for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania:

The Diocesan file for Father Anthony McGinley contained a handwritten memorandum, dated November of 1953, by Father Robert Gribbin, who was stationed at the Lebanon Catholic High School.  Three high school boys reported that McGinley made “immoral advances” towards them.  Gribbin asked the boys “if they realized the terrible gravity of these charges.” He asked if they “were so convinced of them, would they testify under oath to their truth.” The boys notified Gribbin that two senior boys knew of the “immoral advances.” Gribbin “warned them to be absolutely silent and dismissed them.”  The memorandum stated, “I spent most of the day in shocked disbelief – I could not believe these charges.  Yet the evidence seemed so grave, and the danger of scandal so imminent, that I felt bound in conscience to inform the pastor, who I felt to be the competent superior in the case.”

One boy reported that McGinley took him to a funeral and then stayed overnight. McGinley encouraged the boy to drink alcohol.  They slept in the same bed together and McGinley touched the boy.  Another boy reported that McGinley took him to Centralia for a funeral, gave him alcohol, and touched him inappropriately.    This boy went on a trip to McSherrystown and McGinley tried to touch him.  A third boy reported he went on trips to McSherrystown with McGinley and McGinley engaged in “soft talk” and then touched his genitals over his clothes.

Bishop Leech suspended McGinley until he reported for an interview in the Bishop’s Office in November of 1953.   According to a document, McGinley stated he was innocent however “there may have been imprudent association w/ boys and that conduct w/ them might be construed wrongly.” On November 20, 1953, McGinley was transferred to Our Lady of Mt. Carmel.

From 1953 to 1982, there were many reports that McGinley had sexual encounters with other males. Bishop Keeler revoked his faculties and the Diocese sent him to St. Luke’s Institute for treatment.  His faculties were not reinstated.  He was caught practicing ministry in the Diocese of Allentown, without faculties.

In 1987, Father Hugh Overbaugh wrote a memorandum about a meeting between Bishop Keeler and McGinley.   Keeler met with McGinley and explained the “moral and legal ramifications resulting from priests accused of improper sexual activity, especially cases of pedophilia” and revoked all faculties.

In 2004, a man came forward and made a report to the Diocese of Harrisburg.  The man alleged that McGinley molested him when he was 11 years old in 1950.  The reported abuse started with genital fondling and moved to oral sex.  This abuse happened six to eight times.

In 2008, the Diocese received a letter from a prison inmate reporting that he was molested by McGinley in 1969 at St. Patrick’s in Carlisle.  The boy was in fifth grade at the time.  When the boy was in the eighth grade, he told the pastor of the church, Father Braubitz, of the molestation.  Braubitz replied to the victim that McGinley was “ill” and no longer with that church.

Additional information regarding the widespread sexual abuse of children within the Catholic Dioceses of Pennsylvania and the systemic cover up by senior church officials is compiled in the Pennsylvania Diocese Victim’s Report published by the Pennsylvania Attorney General following a two-year grand jury investigation.  A complete copy of the Report is available on the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s website.