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The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Releases
Giving Voice to Victims

 

For immediate release:
Monday, May 24, 2004

For more information:
David Clohessy of St. Louis, SNAP National Director, (314) 566-9790 cell
David Cerulli of New York, SNAP Board Member, (917) 757-1791 cell
Ben "Buddy" Cotton of New Jersey, State Director, (917) 715-6500
William Gately of Boston, SNAP Boston Co-Director, (508) 743-0297, (508)
524-4179

Clergy Sex Abuse Group Urges Outreach to Victims of Admitted Molester

SNAP Leaders Send Letters to Bishops In Three States

Ex-Brooklyn Cleric Sentenced to Life Last Week

Leaders of the nation's largest support group for clergy molestation victims are writing the bishops in three states, urging them to follow the lead of the St. Louis Archdiocese and call for victims of a convicted pedophile to report their crimes to law enforcement. Father Romano Ferraro, a suspended priest of the Brooklyn Diocese, also lived or spent time in Missouri, New Jersey, and Massachusetts.

Last week, Ferraro was sentenced to life imprisonment for sexually abusing a child in Massachusetts. Ferraro also faces at least two civil molestation lawsuits in St. Louis, for victimizing a boy at St. Joan of Arc parish in the early 1980's.

The letter was sent today to Archbishop Sean P. O'Malley of the Boston Archdiocese, Bishop Paul G. Bootkoski of the Metuchen Diocese, and Bishop Nicholas A. DiMarzio of the Brooklyn Diocese. The SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, leaders wrote, "We strongly urge you, as church leaders in the areas where Fr. Ferraro ministered to the faithful and their children, to follow the lead of St. Louis and make the same appeal for victims to come forward and report their abuse." "The announcements should encourage anyone who witnessed, suspected or experienced abuse to contact law enforcement, not church officials," the SNAP leaders stated in their
letter.

Fr. Ferraro admits to being a "predator pedophile" who abused mostly prepubescent in the parishes where he worked throughout his nearly 30 year career. The SNAP leaders believe other victims may be out there, stating, "You can help victims and send a clear message that you will not tolerate secrecy when a known abuser has worked in your diocese. You will be putting anyone who harms a child on notice that you will take decisive action and, thereby, help to protect children.


The full text of the letter is below. The letter was sent this morning via fax and email.

May 24, 2004

Most Reverend Sean P. O'Malley, OFMCap
2121 Commonwealth Avenue
Boston, MA 02135-3193

Most Reverend Paul G. Bootkoski
P.O. Box 191
Metuchen, NJ 08840

Most Reverend Nicholas A. DiMarzio
P.O. Box C
Brooklyn, NY 11202

Dear Bishops,

The St. Louis Archdiocese has recently stated in their weekly diocesan newspaper that anyone who might have been harmed by Father Romano Ferraro should call the vicar general or the St. Louis Circuit Attorney's Office.

Father Ferraro, a suspended priest of the Brooklyn, N.Y., Diocese, once lived in St. Louis, as well as having worked in the Brooklyn and Metuchen, NJ, Dioceses. Rev. Ferraro admits he is a "predator pedophile" who left a trail of sexually abused, mostly prepubescent, boys in the parishes he served from New York to St. Louis and as Navy chaplain.

Fr. Ferraro was sentenced on May 20, 2004 to life imprisonment for sexually abusing a child in Billerica, Massachusetts, a town located within the Archdiocese of Boston. Fr. Ferraro also faces at least two civil molestation lawsuits in St. Louis, for victimizing a boy at St. Joan of Arc parish in the early 1980's.

We strongly urge you, as church leaders in the areas where Fr. Ferraro ministered to the faithful and their children, to follow the lead of St. Louis and make the same appeal for victims to come forward and report their abuse to law enforcement. Announcements should be made not only in the diocesan newspaper, but in parish bulletins and from the pulpit during Sunday Masses in the parishes in and around where Fr. Ferraro worked and
lived. At the very least, such notification needs to be made in the Archdiocese of Boston, Diocese of Metuchen, and Diocese of Brooklyn. The announcements should encourage anyone who witnessed, suspected or experienced abuse to contact law enforcement, not church officials.

The silent victims who have not yet come forward deserve to know that Fr. Ferraro has harmed others and they are not alone. They need to be encouraged to step forward and receive the help and healing they so rightly deserve.

You can help victims and send a clear message that you will not tolerate secrecy when a known abuser has worked in your diocese. You will be putting anyone who harms a child on notice that you will take decisive action and, thereby, help to protect children.

Sincerely,

David Clohessy of St. Louis, MO, SNAP National Director
David Cerulli of New York, NY, SNAP Board Member
Ben "Buddy" Cotton of New Jersey, State Director
William Gately of Boston, MA, SNAP Local Leader


 



Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
www.snapnetwork.org
 


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