Lansing Priest Accused of Sexual Abuse Had Worked in Kalamazoo Diocese
October 11, 2018
A priest in Lansing who was suspended due to what the diocese called a credible allegation of sexual abuse had served about 20 years in pastoral ministries in the Diocese of Kalamazoo.
The Diocese of Lansing officially revoked priestly faculties for the Rev. Robert Gerl on Oct. 5, 2018. Gerl was accused of sexual assault involving an adult male in an incident that occurred decades ago, the Catholic Church in Lansing said. Gerl was not assigned to a parish because he's on senior status. Some of his previous duties as a senior priest included officiating mass, listening to confessions, baptisms and anointing the sick or dying.
Lansing Diocesan spokesman Michael Diebold said Michigan State Police have seized Gerl's file as part of Attorney General Bill Schuette's investigation into possible sexual abuse by Roman Catholic priests in Michigan.
Gerl does not have a published telephone number and he could not be reached for comment. As of now, there are no known criminal charges filed against Gerl.
From 1986 to 2009, Gerl served in the Kalamazoo Diocese, diocesan officials said in a written statement released Thursday.
"Father Gerl does not have faculties for pastoral ministry in the Dioceses of Kalamazoo," the diocese said in the statement. "If you, or anyone you know has been harmed by Father Gerl or anyone representing the church, contact appropriate law enforcement. You may also contact the Diocesan Victim Assistance Coordinator Deacon Pat Hall, 877-802-0115."
Gerl was at the now-closed Nazareth College from 1986 to 1991; at St. Thomas More Parish in Kalamazoo from 1997-2000; and at St. Catherine of Siena Parish in Portage, Michigan, from 2000-2009.