Father Gerald Royer – Archdiocese of Philadelphia

Father Gerald Royer

Archdiocese of Philadelphia

Fr. Gerald Royer Horowitz Law

Ordained: 1947

Leave of Absence: 1955-1956, 1960-1961

Resigned ministry: 1964

Laicized: 2003

Died: 2003

Assigned as follows:

  • 1947-1948 St. Bartholomew (Brockton, PA)
  • 1948 Ss. Simon and Jude (Bethlehem, PA)
  • 1948 St. Bartholomew (Brockton, PA)
  • 1948-1950 St. Catherine of Siena (Reading, PA)
  • 1950-1952 St. Joseph (Girardsville, PA)
  • 1952-1953 St. Joseph (Downingtown, PA)
  • 1953 Annunciation (Shenandoah, PA)
  • 1953-1954 Convent of Divine Love
  • 1954-1955 St. Mary of the Assumption (Philadelphia, PA)
  • 1955-1956 Leave of Absence (Villa St. Joseph)
  • 1956 St. Jane Frances de Chantal (Easton, PA)
  • 1956-1960 St. Paul (Reading, PA)
  • 1960-1961 Leave of Absence
  • 1961-1964 St. Joseph’s Manor/Chaplain

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations against Father Gerald Royer:

The Archdiocese of Philadelphia lists Father Gerald Royer on its list of deceased priests with credible sexual abuse allegations, but has provided no information about the details of the abuse, including when it is alleged to have occurred and the age/gender of the victim(s).  Royer was not discussed in either the 2005 or 2011 grand jury reports either.

However, Royer’s name also appears on the Diocese of Allentown’s list of credibly accused priests because several of the parishes where Royer was assigned eventually became part of the Diocese of Allentown when it was erected in 1961.  According to the 2018 grand jury report on the Diocese of Allentown, in 2003, a man reported that he was sexually abused at Ss. Simon and Jude as a 12 year old boy. The man testified before the grand jury, and told them that the Diocese of Allentown told him that Royer underwent counseling for other allegations of misconduct as well.  

Given the multiple leaves of absence in Royer’s assignment history, it would seem as if the other allegations disclosed by the Diocese of Allentown likely surfaced in 1955 and 1960.  We cannot say this for certain without having seen Royer’s personnel file, but the red flags are certainly present.

In 2016, Lehigh Valley Live featured the story of one of Royer’s victims, an 81 year old survivor who said he was abused as an 11 year old boy in 1947.  

Royer died in 2003. According to the Archdiocese of Philadelphia he was removed from the priesthood by the Vatican (laicized) around the time of his death.  No explanation was offered as to why it took nearly 40 years.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.  If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in Pennsylvania, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Philadelphia now have legal options to recover damages due to a compensation fund created for victims.  Contact us at (954) 641-2100 or adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com today.