Gerard “Gerald” Bugge – Diocese of Harrisburg

| Apr 16, 2020 | Abuser Profiles

Fr. Gerard “Gerald” Bugge

Diocese of Harrisburg/Baltimore/Redemptorists

Gerard Bugge Horowitz Law


Ordained: 1969

Removed: 1985

Died: 2004

Assigned as Follows:

  • 1970: Mt. St. Alphonsus Seminary (Esopus, NY)
  • 1972: St. James and St. John (Baltimore, MD)
  • 1973-1977: St. Mary Church (Annapolis, MD)
  • 1978-1985: Holy Redeemer College (Washington, D.C.)
  • 1985-1987: St. Mary Church (Annapolis, MD)
  • 1986-1988 St. Anthony of Padua (Lancaster, PA)

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations against Father Gerard (Gerald) Bugge:

Father Gerald Bugge, also known as “Gerard” in the Catholic Directories, was ordained a Redemptorist priest in 1969 and worked in the Archdiocese of Baltimore and the Diocese of Harrisburg. In 2002, Fr. Bugge was listed on the Archdiocese of Baltimore’s Credibly Accused of Sexual Abuse of Minors list and the 2018 Diocese of Harrisburg List of Clergy & Seminarians Accused of Sexual Abuse of a Child under the subsection “Cases Where Abuse was Alleged to Have Occurred in Another Diocese.” In April 2023, Maryland’s Attorney General released a report alleging 156 Catholic clergy members sexually abused at least 600 children over six decades. The report lists the names of the abusers, including Father Bugge. 

According to the AG’s report, in 1985, Fr. Bugge was arrested for driving while intoxicated and sexually abusing a minor (a 15-year-old boy) while he was hitchhiking, which he admitted to. The accusations were then reported to the Redemptorists, where Bugge was a member of the order. His faculties were officially removed that year. 

However, in June 1987, Archbishop William D. Borders permitted Bugge to administer a baptism and to officiate at least two weddings. In the course of granting these requests, Archbishop Borders admonished Bugge, “I do expect you to ask for permission in each instance when you wish to engage in ministry here in the Archdiocese of Baltimore. I would also say that I do not think that it is wise for you to be doing this too often in the next year or two.”

In 1993, Bugge was again convicted of driving while intoxicated in Baltimore County, for which he served some time in jail. Gerard Bugge died in November 2004.

In 2018, a victim informed the Archdiocese that he had been raped by Bugge in approximately 1975 when the victim was about 8 years old. The victim was in Bugge’s Sunday school class at St. John’s in Severna Park, Maryland, when Bugge took him out of class, brought him into a closet, and forcibly raped the young boy. The victim remembered Bugge saying, “If you tell anyone, you will go to hell.” The Archdiocese made the mandatory report of the abuse to authorities. In 2019, the Archdiocese agreed to a mediated settlement with the victim.

Ahead of the grand jury report, the Diocese of Harrisburg released the names of 71 priests, seminarians and laypersons accused of sexually abusing children since 1941. This was from an updated list that the diocese released in August of 2018. After the report was released, the total was over 301 identified and accused priests in Pennsylvania alone.

Gerard Bugge is included in the bankruptcy proceeding and falls under the category of cases where the alleged abuse occurred in another diocese.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims of sexual abuse in the Diocese of Harrisburg and throughout Pennsylvania. The Diocese of Harrisburg filed for federal bankruptcy protection in February 2020. Anyone sexually abused by a priest or employee of the Diocese of Harrisburg may be entitled to file a claim against the Diocese in these bankruptcy proceedings, but very strict filing deadlines apply.  Most victims of abuse in the Diocese of Harrisburg will never be able to take action against the Diocese of Harrisburg if they miss this bankruptcy filing deadline, so it is important that you contact us immediately to discuss your potential case.

Contact us at 888-283-9922 or [email protected] to discuss your legal options today.