Catholic Priest

Bryan Schlager

Diocese: Diocese of Harrisburg

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

In August of 2009, Bryan Schlager was a seminarian for the Diocese of Harrisburg.  In December of 2010, he withdrew from the seminary and was no longer studying to be a priest for the Diocese of Harrisburg.

According to a Diocesan memorandum, in February of 2011, a 15 year old boy reported to Father Sawicki (St. Joan of Arc) that he had received inappropriate communications from Schlager during a private Facebook chat.  Schlager asked the 15 year old about masturbation and pornography.  After being confronted by the Diocese of Harrisburg, Schlager “voluntarily withdr[e]w” from all activities on a parish or Diocesan level to include “working with the youth in any capacity whether that be through religious education, youth groups or diocesan parochial or high schools.”  The Diocese requested Schlager be removed from a substitute teacher list at Lancaster Catholic High School.  He retained his Youth Protection credentials, which is apparently a Diocesan program.

The Diocese of Harrisburg conducted an investigation and found a minor in 2008 had received inappropriate communications from Schlager prior to him entering the Seminary. The Diocese produced a report of the investigation.   Another minor received inappropriate communications from Schlager in November of 2010.  Schlager withdrew from the Seminary in December of 2010 after he had inappropriate sexual conversations with seminarians. Another minor received inappropriate communications from Schlager in 2011.

In 2012, Schlager was the organist at St. Ignatius in Sinking Springs.  He was removed from this position because he had befriended a family with small children.  He passed an inappropriate note to a young boy who was in the family.  The pastor at St. Ignatius did not disclose the contents of the note to Chancellor Carol Houghton.

In March 2014, Schlager was observed volunteering at a faith-based retreat. The Diocese removed his Youth Protection credentials.

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.