Father Ralph Ferraldo – Diocese of Scranton

Father Ralph Ferraldo – Diocese of Scranton

Fr. Ralph Ferraldo

Ordained:    1970

Counseling/evaluations: 1985, 1986

Leave of Absence: 1986, 1988

Removed from ministry: 1988

Died: 1997

Assigned as follows:

  • 1970        St. Mary (Jessup, PA)
  • 1970-1976    St. Francis (Nanticoke, PA)
  • 1976-1979    Bishop O’Reilly High School (Kingston, PA)
  • 1976-1979    Maternity BVM (Wilkes-Barre, PA)
  • 1979-1980    St. Joseph Hospital (Carbondale, PA)
  • 1980-1984    Our Lady of Grace (Hazleton, PA)
  • 1984-1986    Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center
  • 1986        Leave of Absence
  • 1986-1988    St. Boniface (Williamsport, PA)
  • 1988        Leave of Absence

Summary of Abuse Allegations against Father Ralph Ferraldo:

In 1974, then-Chancellor James Timlin received a call from a woman who said her 16-year-old son had been abused by Ferraldo. She said Ferraldo had done this to other altar boys and an orderly at a local hospital. When questioned, Ferraldo denied the allegations, but admitted to having boys in his room at the rectory. He was told not to have boys visit his room in the rectory anymore.  They agreed it would be construed as “an admission of guilt” if the Diocese of Scranton moved Ferraldo to a new parish following the allegations, so he would stay put at St. Francis for the time being.

When the mother of the boy learned of the Diocese of Scranton’s plan to side with Ferraldo, she was told by Timlin that her young son would have to confront Ferraldo with his allegations face-to-face before the Chancery would consider any other action. Understandably, she declined to put her son through that.

In 1985, Ferraldo underwent an evaluation after a report of inappropriate behavior (not specified in the grand jury report) with a hospital patient.

In 1986, two staff members at Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center called Timlin to report Ferraldo made improper sexual advances against a 23-year-old male patient. Ferraldo admitted to the misconduct. He agreed not to return to the hospital and was directed to report for counseling, but only after he arranged for other priests to cover his masses.  The Diocese of Scranton directed Ferraldo to lie to his fellow priests and say he was not feeling well.

In 1988, Timlin granted Ferraldo an indefinite leave of absence, an unusual move that reflected the seriousness of the problem that Ferraldo posed to parishioners.

In 2002, the Archdiocese of New York notified the Diocese of Scranton that a man reported being sexually abused by Ferraldo with he was 16 or 17 in 1983.

Ferraldo died in 1997. While he was never formally assigned to a parish after 1988, there is no indication that his faculties were restricted or that he was removed from the priesthood (“laicized”). Therefore, he could continue to present himself as a priest until he died.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Scranton.  If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in Pennsylvania, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Diocese of Scranton now have legal options to recover damages due to a compensation fund created for victims.  Contact us at (954) 641-2100 or adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com today.