"Prolific, notorious" St. Louis predator priest passes
(For Immediate Release January 31, 2023)
A former St. Louis priest who admitted he violated dozens of boys and was serving a life sentence in prison for child sex crimes has passed away.
From 1981 to 1983, Fr. Romano Ferraro was at St. Joan of Arc parish in south St. Louis city. A man he molested as a child there committed suicide in 2006 after a long struggle with depression.
Fr. Ferraro also worked at Jewish Hospital, Barnes Hospital, and lived in Webster Groves at a now-shuttered church facility called The House of Affirmation (4 Joy Avenue).
Over his long career, the priest was in at least eight states including Washington DC, Massachusetts (Billerica), Virginia (Norfolk), Rhode Island (Newport), Maryland (Suitland), Florida (Key West), New Jersey (Ridgewood, Woodbridge, Middlesex, Colonia), New York (Brooklyn, Queens, Kings Park, Bushwick, Borough Park, Canarsie, Far Rockaway, Douglaston, Staten Island, Astoria, Long Island City, Bronx, Jamaica, West Islip, Commack, Park Slope). Fr. Ferraro was dishonorably discharged for child sexual abuse from the US Navy. (He had served in Viet Nam and the Philippines.)
In 1986, he gained national notoriety for giving a sermon at which he said that there was no Santa Claus, no Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and no North Pole toy workshop.
His death was announced by Massachusetts authorities and reported by the Bergen NJ daily newspaper.
Fr. Ferraro's name is on the St. Louis archdiocese's list of 'credibly accused' child molesting clerics. Fr. Ferraro was defrocked in 2011.
He faced at least one civil lawsuit in St. Louis.
FOR MORE INFO: David Clohessy of SNAP, 314 566 9790, [email protected]