Twelve Priests, One Brother Named in Lawsuit

October 16, 2002

In addition to the Rev. Joseph Byrns, other priests named in the lawsuit include:

The Rev. James Smith, suspended this year as pastor of St. Kevin's Church in Flushing. The lawsuit names 26 people who claim they were abused by Smith between 1960 and 1976 while he was at Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Whitestone and Our Lady of Grace in Howard Beach. Smith has denied any improprieties.

The Rev. James Collins, suspended as chaplain at Bishop Kearney High School in Bensonhurst. The lawsuit says four men were abused by Collins between 1970 and 1984 when Collins was at Our Lady Queen of Martyrs in Forest Hills, St. Margaret's in Middle Village and St. Michael's in Flushing. Diocese spokesman Frank DeRosa said Collins has denied wrongdoing.

The Rev. Edward Maurer, said to have abused a boy who allegedly also was a victim of Collins. The lawsuit does not say when or where the abuse allegedly occurred.

The Rev. Romano Ferraro, indicted in Massachusetts for allegedly raping the son of a family friend there. He has pleaded not guilty. Ferraro was suspended by the diocese many years ago. The lawsuit filed yesterday alleges that Ferraro sexually abused two boys between 1974 and 1978 at St. Joseph's Church in Astoria.

The Rev. George Stack, who the lawsuit alleges abused a male student in 1976, when Stack was assigned to the Cathedral Preparatory School. Stack most recently was assigned to Our Lady of the Snows in Floral Park, which he left in 2000, the lawsuit says.

The Rev. Thomas O'Rourke, who the lawsuit alleges repeatedly sexually abused an altar boy at Corpus Christi Church in Woodside, where he was assigned in the 1960s.

The Rev. Ronald Petroski, who apparently has not worked for the diocese since the middle 1980s, alleged to have abused a boy who attended school at St. Anastasia in Douglaston, where he was assigned in the late 1970s.

The Rev. Francis Manzo, who the lawsuit alleges violently abused one boy he met while serving at St. Catherine of Alexandria Church in Brooklyn during the early 1990s. He has been officially on leave from the diocese since 1995, the suit says.

The Rev. William Authenreith, who the lawsuit alleges abused a boy in the rectory while he was assigned to St. Vincent Ferrer Church in Brooklyn during the 1960s and early 1970s.

Brother John McLoughlin, who the lawsuit alleges abused a boy he took to his summer home in Rocky Point while he was assigned to Cathedral Prep High School from 1973 to 1975.

The Rev. Vincent Zollo, who the lawsuit alleges abused a male parishioner at Our Lady of Grace in Howard Beach, where he was assigned from 1981 until 1983.


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