SNAP commends a brave survivor who shared his personal journey in a very public way.

Ryan Barry, a husband, and father living now in Pennsylvania, made the details of the abuse he suffered very public in an interview with Staten Island Live news outlet. Ryan accuses Fr. James Garisto of abuse that began when Ryan was a teenager in the 1990s. The clergyman was at the time a pastor, teacher, and school official at St. Joseph by-the-Sea High School. 

We know that the effects of sexual abuse suffered by a child last a lifetime and can manifest themselves in many ways. Ryan is an example of what can happen when the pain and suffering become too much for a victim. Many survivors often find anesthetic relief in the form of drugs and alcohol. Ryan, who found his drug of choice at an early age, said that he was given money by Fr. Garisto that helped to fund this addiction. This too is a common tactic of abusers.

The Child Victims Act in New York gave Ryan the power to hold Fr. Garisto and the institution that employed the priest accountable. This is direct proof that the law passed in New York is unearthing dark secrets many victims have held onto for most of their life.

 

We believe there may be other survivors of Fr. Garisto.  Those who abuse children seldom have just one victim. This case also illustrates that despite what Catholic officials often claim, abuse continued to occur into the 1990s and beyond.

Fr. Garisto was in the public eye in 2015 when he was abruptly removed as pastor of St. Adalbert – St. Roch parish in North Shore Staten Island. The Archdiocese of New York should disclose to the community the reasons why Fr. Garisto abruptly left his position and where he is now. Catholic officials frequently assert that they have concern for victims and yet refuse to release information that would help survivors heal and inform the public about dangerous men.

Recovery clearly has given Ryan new life, the freedom to own his story and seek justice. We admire his bravery tremendously. We hope that other victims find the same strength and courage as Ryan. We encourage others who knew of abuse by clergy, nuns, laity or religious orders to come forward to law enforcement with their information.

CONTACT: Mike McDonnell, SNAP Communications Manager (267-261-0578, [email protected]), Brian Toale, SNAP New York (646-549-0372, [email protected]), Zach Hiner, SNAP Executive Director (517-974-9009, [email protected])


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  • Athena Justice
    commented 2021-08-08 14:11:29 -0500
    Gentleman, SNAP Sunday 8/8/2021
     
    I just read your article posted today:

    https://www.snapnetwork.org/snap_commends_a_brave_survivor_who_shared_his_personal_journey_in_a_very_public_way

    While we have supported the efforst of SNAP to stand up to Church lies and coverups and
    applauded your efforst to get to the truth and stand up to the Church — in the case of this 
    story, you have libeled a good man in James Garisto. You have several factual-inaccuracies 
    and assumptions in your story concerning the allegations of Ryan Barry. This has not been 
    tried in court but your story takes Ryan Barry’s word as it is proven fact.

    Inaccuracies:
    ====

    1. No one people have come forward formally to accuse James Garisto of anything. If this is
         not true – then immediately print these.

    2. James Garisto did not return to St Peters School after 2014. He came for a visit and was greeted
        warmed at a mass he said. He never came back as an administrator and never had any allegations
        against him at St Peters. The one and only allegation is from Ryan Barry which is an allegation.

    3. If James Garisto had committed these acts in the 1990s in Staten Island and the archdiocese knew
        of these — why would they return him to the SAME parish in 2014? If it was a coverup they would
         have moved him farther away never to be returned there. It does not make an sense even if you
         claim it is a coverup.

    4. James Garisto was NOT removed from St. Adalbert – St. Roch parish in 2015. Not true. He was given
        the task to tell one of the parishes that teh Archdiocese was closing it and some very nasty people
        there made a flyer full of lies saying that he had refused to discuss parish finances. A plethora of
        people spoke up and asked why he QUIT after he told the bishop he was so insulted by this attack
        that he would retire after 40 years of unblemished service. Watch this and you will see what you wrote
        is factually innaccurate and need to clarify that as online journalist. Parishoners loved James Garisto.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QZii7bz05EI

    5.  In the early1990s, you also printed that james Garisto was pastor in Staten Island when this Ryan Barry
         alleged this to have happened. This is also inaccurate. He was NOT a pastor at all until he came to St.
         Peter’s in 1999. You need to correct your factual mistakes. 

    We have know many priests, taught in Catholic Schools and have James Garisto in our home. We have NEVER
    even seen any inkling of inappropriate comments or had a sense of anything “weird.” We have had that feeling
    about other priests, where your radar goes up and you can tell something is amiss. This was never the case with
    James Garisto. He is a good and honest man who you have printed statements about which are not factual.

    This case, like all such cases, should be fully and completely investigated and anyone found guilty prosecuted
    (including bishops) to the fully extent of the law. But online journalist like yourself should also be prosecueted for
    taking opinions for facts and destroying good people’s reputations. 

    The NYS August 13th deadline for lawsuits is looming. If Ryan Barry really had this happen in the early 1990s, why
    did he wait so long? He knew that James Garisto chose to move to St Peter’s in Hyde Park NY which contains a 
    school - why didn’t he contact them? Why did he wait until now, immediately before the deadline to sue and get
    money? Why didn’t he immediately raise his voice when James Garisto returned on his own accord to Staten Island?
    If James Garisto helped him get into the Catholic High School and may have even given him/his family money -
    does that prove that something took place? Where is any proof whatsoever against James Garisto? 

    We believe in the rights of all victims but we do not believe in publicing printing inaccurate facts. Are we still not in
    America where one is innocent until proven guilty? We ask you to share this email and fix your factual misrepresentations
    immediately. 

    We will see if you ignore this email.

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