Catholic Priest

Donald Cramer

Ordained: 2001
Diocese: Diocese of Harrisburg

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

Diocesan documents contained information summarized below.

On August 17, 2012, the Department of Homeland Security and the Postal Inspection Service were present at the Diocese of Harrisburg for an investigation into Father Donald Cramer.  The investigation revealed that Cramer was in an online chatroom using the screen name “Bigmark512.”  While online, he communicated with an individual in Connecticut who was charged criminally for possessing child pornography.  In his online communications, Cramer mentioned he wanted to go to Mexico where he could “rent” boys.   After an investigation, Cramer was not arrested because he was not in possession of child pornography. However, the Department of Homeland Security’s investigative report listed, in detail, the nature of the e-mail communication where Cramer expressed an interest in minor boys.   The Department of Homeland Security eventually terminated its investigation and closed its file.

The Diocesan files for Cramer also contained a letter that Cramer wrote to Pope Francis in September of 2013, where Cramer requested dispensation from the priesthood.    He was officially dispensed in November of 2014.

Chancellor Carol Houghton of the Diocese of Harrisburg wrote a handwritten note dated January 24, 2013, which described a summary of a forensic examination of an electronic device that Cramer possessed.  A forensic company in Harrisburg conducted the examination.  The examiner told Houghton that Cramer “was ‘definitely’ looking for underage boys/teens (w/ all the websites w/ those names) – then he shifted to hardcore sites.”


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.