Catholic Priest

John G. Allen

Diocese: Diocese of Harrisburg

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

Diocesan documents reveal the Diocese was concerned with Father John G. Allen’s sexual behavior as early as January 1970. In 1991, the Diocese sent Allen to the Anodos Center at St. John Vianney for an evaluation.

In 1992, parishioners contacted the Diocese of Harrisburg by letter and telephone after learning that Lancaster City Police had arrested Allen for soliciting an undercover officer. Parishioners also heard that Allen had invited altar boys in his room at the church rectory.

In 1993, Father Paul Helwig authored a memorandum to Bishop Nicholas Dattilo, which stated he received information that Allen attended a Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous (SLAA) meeting where Allen gave the impression to members that he was a pedophile and had an “obsession with young boys.”

In April 2002, a man reported to the Diocese that Allen had abused him.  The man reported that he was abused from age 14 to age 18.  Allen picked up the then-boy along State Street in Harrisburg during the 1990’s. Allen reportedly sexually abused the boy approximately 10 to 15 times; the abuse included fondling, oral sex and mutual masturbation.  The Diocese issued a penal precept suspending Allen’s ability to function publically as a priest.

In a note dated July 23, 2002, Father M. McFadden stated the Diocese received a call to verify “employment” for Allen.  The caller did not want any additional information, nor a reference.  McFadden noted, “I did not volunteer any additional information.”

In January 2003, another man reported abuse to the Diocese. He stated he was under 18 years old at the time of the abuse.  He stated that he and others met with Allen when he was stationed in Selinsgrove.  The then-boy, Allen, and the others undressed and sat in a circle around a lit candle.  They all masturbated themselves.  Allen paid the victims either $40.00 or $50.00 each.  The man stated that anytime Allen sexually abused him, Allen paid him money.

The same man who reported to the Diocese in 2003 stated that Allen brought him to a hotel in Harrisburg when he was a teenager and they engaged in “touching” and oral sex.  On some occasions, Allen and the boy watched pornographic movies.  The man said prices were negotiated for sex acts.  The man stated that Allen paid him between $40.00 and $80.00 depending on the sex act.

When Allen was stationed in Lancaster from 1986 to 1992, the same man who reported to the Diocese in 2003 was an adult.  The reporting man stated that sexual encounters between Allen and himself continued and Allen paid him for the sexual encounters.

In July of 2004, the Diocese of Harrisburg for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith produced a document regarding the process for dismissing clergy. In that document, three sexual abuse victims (two who were underage at the time of sexual abuse) were identified.

On September 28, 2005, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith presented and supported a petition presented by the Diocese of Harrisburg to dismiss Allen from the clergy. Pope Benedict XVI granted the dispensation on February 17, 2006.

In December of 2016, another man contacted the Diocese of Harrisburg.  As a minor, and altar server, Allen made the boy engage in strip poker in 1971.  Allen also took the boy to his private quarters at the rectory.

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.