Harrisburg Roman Catholic Diocese puts priest on leave after “adult misconduct” allegation


EDITOR’S NOTE: This story has been updated to show the Right Reverend David Danneker has not been employed at Elizabethtown College since 2018.

A priest who is a senior administrator in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Harrisburg has been placed on leave while an “adult misconduct” investigation is completed.

Most recently, the Most Reverend David Danneker served as Vicar General and Moderator of the Curia, which is the Bishop’s First Deputy in charge of overseeing the functioning of the Diocese. He is also listed as the pastor of Prince of Peace Parish Church in Steelton.

In a statement released Friday, the diocese said it had received an allegation of “adult misconduct against Reverend Danneker.” Although this case does not involve a child, we take the accusations seriously. As a result, a full investigation, conducted by an outside third party, was launched to examine the case. “

The diocese said the allegation focuses on a relationship between Danneker and an adult woman, and the company conducting the investigation has no ties to the diocese. Additionally, he said the church has opened an investigation into potential violations of canon law – the church’s internal set of rules and regulations.

Adult misconduct is a broad term that in the church encompasses behaviors ranging from inappropriate speech, sexual harassment, to having sex that is outside the bounds of priests.

Earlier this year, for example, the priest who presided over an inaugural Mass for President Joe Biden was investigated for “adult misconduct” involving “behavior in adult settings, consisting primarily of conversations, which may be inconsistent with established Jesuit protocols and limits. “

A spokesperson for the diocese told PennLive that the allegation discussed here was brought to the attention of the diocese by the adult woman involved. Dauphin County District Attorney Fran Chardo said this week that diocesan officials had also informed his office of the case, but at this point there was no indication of criminal activity.

No other details of the case have been disclosed.

The name of the company that conducted the investigation was not disclosed.

Danneker is 64 years old and has been a member of the priesthood since 1982.

A biography published by Elizabethtown College, where Danneker was a part-time faculty member until the fall of 2018, indicates that Danneker is a native of Harrisburg who graduated from St. Charles’s Seminary in Philadelphia in 1978. He then went on to follow. graduated from Mt. St. Mary’s Seminary in Emmitsburg, Maryland in 1982 with a master’s degree in divinity and theology.

Danneker’s other recent pastoral assignments have included St. Peter’s Parish in Elizabethtown and St. John Neumann’s Parish in Lancaster.

The diocese said Danneker will remain on leave pending the outcome of the investigation.

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