N.J. priests molested us, and we want more of their names released, survivors’ group demands

Star Ledger

March 28, 2019

By Sophie Nieto-Munoz

Six weeks after N.J. Catholic dioceses released the names of 188 priests and deacons accused of sexually abusing children, survivors of the abuse are calling for the church to release more names, including a priest brought under the watch of disgraced Cardinal Theodore McCarrick.

Mark Crawford, director of the N.J. chapter of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, stood in front of St. John Vianney church in Colonia and demanded New Jersey bishops take accountability to release all the names of accused priests.

The Catholic church came under massive pressure to identify the clergy accused of sexual misconduct following the release of a Pennsylvania grand jury report identifying 300 credibly accused clergy members, leading to N.J.’s five Catholic dioceses to release the names of priests credibly accused of sexual abuse against children.

But Crawford said there are several priests who ministered at St. John Vianney, even though they had known records of molesting young children, including Fathers John R. Butler, Edward M. DePaoli and Romano Ferraro.

The church has taken advantage of opportunities to release limited information, Crawford said, but “more important than what they have told us, is what they have decided not to reveal.”

“Father Ferraro, although he is listed as having been at the staff at this parish, he is not one of the names the Diocese of Metuchen has put on this list,” said attorney Patrick Noaker, who represents eight of Ferraro’s victims. “When you look at these documents, you might understand why they might be scared to admit they welcomed him into this diocese.”

Ferraro had one of the most egregious records on being sent to different dioceses following sexual abuse allegations, said Noaker, a Minnesota-based attorney.

“Nobody in the parishes were told anything about Father Ferraro’s background so they could protect their kids from him. They unleashed him on a whole ‘nother group of kids. An entire diocese of children,” he said.

Ferraro was brought to the Diocese of Metuchen in 1984 under the watch of then-Bishop Theodore McCarrick.

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