Father A. Richard Gerbino
Diocese of Camden
Removed from ministry: 1985
Assigned as follows:
- Our Lady of Mt. Carmel (Camden, NJ)
- St. Francis of Assisi (Vineland, NJ)
- St. Rose of Lima (Haddon Heights, NJ)
- Our Lady Star of the Sea (Cape May, NJ)
- Corpus Christi (Carneys Point, NJ)
- Assumption (Atco, NJ)
- St. Patrick (Woodbury, NJ)
- Chaplain, Newman Club (Rutgers) (Camden, NJ)
- Chaplain, Air National Guard Headquarters (Camden, NJ)
Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations against Father A. Richard Gerbino:
In 2018, the Diocese of Camden offered a settlement to the daughter of a man who claimed he was sexually abused by Father A. Richard Gerbino, the first pastor assigned to St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Vineland in 1961. The victim claimed he was repeatedly sexually abused by Gerbino in the 1960s and died by suicide on December 31, 1970.
According to the victim’s daughter, her father went to Gerbino for private counseling at the parish and was sexually abused there.
This was the second abuse allegation made against Gerbino. The other allegation was of verbal abuse. That incident did not lead to a settlement; however, the Diocese of Camden did pay for counseling for the alleged victim for two years.
Two Predators at One Parish
Gerbino arrived at St. Francis of Assisi as its first pastor in 1961 and held Sunday Masses in the auditorium at Landis Junior High School and holy day Masses in the American Legion Hall, according to the parish’s official history.
In 1962, the parish held groundbreaking ceremonies on a parcel of land on West Chestnut Avenue near Delsea Drive for a new school, which included an auditorium for Sunday Mass, parish offices, and living space for the priests.
The first permanent assistant with Gerbino at St. Francis was the Rev. John Connor, who also has been accused of sexual abuse of children and was named in the Pennsylvania grand jury report, as he also served in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia.
Gerbino resigned from the parish in November 1980 amid allegations he had a drinking problem and was ordered by then-Camden Diocese Bishop George H. Guilfoyle to undergo months of treatment in Minnesota and Boston.
Gerbino later wrote a 15-page letter distributed to parishioners claiming an “unnamed informant” at the parish purposely plotted his downfall by telling the bishop his performance as a pastor suffered because of a problem with alcohol.
Gerbino was then briefly assigned to Our Lady Star of the Sea in Cape May after rehab.
He was removed from ministry in 1985 due to mental-health reasons.
Gerbino’s name appears on the February 2019 Diocese of Camden list of credibly accused priests. According to Bishop Sullivan, the list, “includes those who admitted to the abuse, those who were found guilty after a trial in the church courts or the civil courts, and others against whom the evidence was so overwhelming as to be virtually unquestionable.”
Gerbino died in 2007 at Our Lady’s Residence in Pleasantville, a nursing home operated by the Diocese of Camden.
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