Kings Park Parish to Hear of Priest's Sex Abuse

By Samuel Bruchey
August 25, 2004

A Catholic church in Kings Park will notify its congregation this week that a priest who served within its parish 30 years ago was convicted in May of sexually abusing a young boy in Massachusetts.

The Rev. Romano Ferraro, who is serving a life sentence for sexually abusing the boy in the 1970s, was assigned to St. Joseph Church from 1973 to 1977, the Rev. Edward Fitzpatrick of St. Joseph said yesterday.

"If anyone was victimized by this man, we'd like to reach out to them and help them and look into the healing process," Fitzpatrick said. He said he has yet to receive a complaint against Ferraro.

Ferraro was ordained by the Diocese of Brooklyn in 1960 and also served in Queens. He was barred from active ministry by the late 1980s following an unrelated abuse claim. At the time of his arrest in 2002, Ferraro was living at Parsons Manor, a home for priests in Jamaica. Diocese of Brooklyn officials could not be reached last night.

Ferraro was convicted May 7 for assaulting the son of a family friend from Brooklyn. During his trial, he admitted he was a "pedophile predator" who had abused children in three states, but he denied he molested his friend's son.

The boy, now 37 and a New Hampshire resident, testified that Ferraro victimized him during Christmas visits to his family's Massachusetts home from age 4 to 13.

Ferraro is a defendant in three civil suits alleging sexual abuse in Brooklyn and Missouri.

Dan Bartley, co-chairman of Long Island Voice of the Faithful, a lay organization that has been critical of the church's handling of sex-abuse allegations, said his organization wrote a letter July 5 to Bishop William Murphy about Ferraro. Murphy never responded, Bartley said.

Fitzpatrick, who was assigned to St. Joseph in June, said he had been notified Monday by members of Long Island Voice of the Faithful about Ferraro. He said he immediately notified the Diocese of Rockville Centre, which confirmed Ferraro's conviction and encouraged him to notify his congregation.


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