Catholic Priest

Charles R. Ginder

Ordained: 1940
Diocese: Diocese of Pittsburgh

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

Over the course of the years, an adult male residing in Seattle, WA contacted the Diocese of Pittsburgh on multiple occasions. He never provided details of his abuse, but he threatened to sue the Diocese and recorded telephone calls that he made.  The male was advised in 1999 that the records pertaining to Father Charles R. Ginder were destroyed as Ginder had died in 1984. The male subsequently sent a letter wherein he stated that he was taken to New York, New Jersey and Philadelphia by Ginder. He estimated that the trips occurred between 1958 and 1961. He did not provide details of any abuse, but advised that the details would be contained in a book that he planned to write.  The male also advised that he was abused by another priest in Pittsburgh who now lived in Florida. He refused to name the other priest, however, in order to maintain “the element of surprise.”

In September, 2005, the male called the Diocese to say that he would be in Pittsburgh in the near future and wanted to make the abuse publicly known. He advised that he had requested that CNN and 60 Minutes accompany him. In 2006, he called the Diocese to advise that he was expecting reimbursement for the cost of many years of counseling and medication that he has incurred due to abuse by Ginder.

On November 28, 2007, a letter was went to the male from the Ministerial Assistance Coordinator of the Diocese which included a check in the amount of $4,092.00 for monthly insurance premiums.  A copy of a Receipt and Release was also enclosed which stated:

“I hereby forever remise, release and discharge the Diocese of Pittsburgh . . . from any and all continuing obligations, liabilities or claims that I may have in the future for counseling and counseling benefits.”

Additionally, there was a June 20, 2008 letter in the file that was sent to the male.  This letter stated that the Diocese had entered into a mediation process in connection with a lawsuit and that sums of money were apportioned to the plaintiffs. The male was advised that, as a plaintiff, he was to receive $16,000.00 as his portion of the resolution.

In 2002, a 50-year-old male living in New Jersey reported that he had been abused by Ginder when he was between the ages of 15 and 17. He stated that he and a boy from Denmark would gather at the residence of the Bishop on many occasions. He stated that they would drink alcohol and “sexual activity would occur there.”  According to the male, the sexual activity occurred with Ginder and the Bishop was aware of it. The male further stated that he lived with Ginder on Murray Avenue for a short time.  He stated that the relationship with Ginder and others was “out of control.” He described Ginder as “a physically abusive monster.”

In 2007, a 69-year old male living in Florida called the Diocese to report that he had been molested by Ginder.  He stated that he attended St. Mary’s on the North Side as a child in the late 1940s. Ginder, who was assigned to a neighboring parish, would wait outside of St. Mary’s early in the morning to offer him rides.   He did not provide specific details.   However, he explained that after a few occasions, he no longer accepted rides from Ginder.  He stated that the abuse he suffered caused his marriage to fail; that he had feelings of guilt; and, that he had attempted suicide. He further related that he was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder; had been in and out of hospitals; and experienced terrible nightmares.

In 2011, an adult male reported sexual abuse through the Diocese of Manchester in New Hampshire. He stated that in 1980, when he was approximately 15 or 16-years-old, he attended an overnight retreat at Hundred Acres in New Boston. Another man, possibly a priest, attempted to assault him in his bed.  When he screamed loudly, Ginder came into the room.  Ginder then offered to drive him home. During the car ride, Ginder pulled over by a river. He then fondled the young man on the top of his clothes.  The young man got out of the vehicle before it went any further and took a bus home.

In 2013, an adult male reported that he was befriended by Ginder following the death of his brother in 1960. He stated that they often made trips from New Castle to Pittsburgh and had dinner together.  The male recalled that on one occasion, he fell asleep in the front seat of the car following dinner with Ginder. He awoke to Ginder putting his hand up his pant leg, touching his thigh.  When asked what he was doing, Ginder explained that he was checking to see if the boy was cold.  After this incident, he did not accompany Ginder anywhere else.

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.