The Diocese of Portland in Maine, where Gerety served as bishop for five years prior to his installation in Newark, told CNA that “there have been no complaints or allegations involving Bishop Gerety ever received in the diocese.”
“As always, Bishop [Robert] Deeley encourages anyone who may have information about any case of sexual abuse of a minor by a Church representative to contact civil authorities” as well as the diocese, said a spokesperson for the Portland diocese.
In 2019, New Jersey created a temporary two-year window for new lawsuits against individual perpetrators of child sex abuse, or against organizations that facilitated or covered up sex abuse, regardless of any statute of limitations. The deadline for these claims to be filed is Nov. 30, 2021.
Gerety, born in 1912, worked for the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the New Jersey Transportation Department before entering St. Thomas Seminary in Bloomfield, Connecticut. He was ordained a priest in 1939 for the Archdiocese of Hartford, and served there for 27 years.
Gerety was actively involved in the civil rights movement, taking part in the 1963 March on Washington led by Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., founding the New Haven chapter of the Urban League. He was named a Monsignor by Pope St. Paul VI in 1963, before being appointed the coadjutor bishop of Portland, Maine, in 1966, and the bishop of Portland in 1969.
In 1974, he was installed as archbishop of Newark.
Gerety’s successor in Newark was Theodore McCarrick, who was eventually laicized in 2019 after a Vatican administrative penal process found him guilty of “solicitation in the Sacrament of Confession, and sins against the Sixth Commandment with minors and with adults, with the aggravating factor of the abuse of power.”