Fr. Romano Ferraro – Diocese of Brooklyn

Father Romano Ferraro

Diocese of Brooklyn

Ordained: 1960

Removed: 1988

Laicized: 2011

Assigned as follows:

  • Unknown         St. John’s University, Queens and Staten Island, NY
  • 1960-1962      St. Joseph Patron of the Universal (Brooklyn, NY)
  • 1962-1963      St. Rosalia (Brooklyn, NY); Regina Pacis Votive Shrine (Brooklyn, NY)
  • 1963-1964      St. Lucy (Brooklyn, NY) 
  • 1964-1968      Holy Family (Brooklyn, NY) 
  • 1968-1970      Military Service
  • 1968                Indoctrination Seminar Chaplain Corps Reserve U.S. Naval Air Station (Norfolk, VA); U.S. Naval Chaplains School (Newport, RI) 
  • 1968-1969      U.S. Naval Air Station (Key West, FL) 
  • 1969-1970      Mobile Support Unit Detachment Bravo (Subic Bay, Philippines)
  • 1971-1973      St. Rose of Lima (Brooklyn, NY)
  • 1973                Absent on Sick Leave; Cathedral College (Douglaston, NY)
  • Unknown         St. John’s University (Queens and Staten Island, NY)
  • 1975-1977      St. Joseph (Kings Park, NY)
  • 1977-1978      St. Francis Xavier (Brooklyn, NY); Madonna Residence for the Elderly (Brooklyn, NY) 
  • 1978-1979      St. Aloysius (Queens, NY); Wyckoff Heights Hospital  (Queens, NY) 
  • 1980                Absent on Sick Leave 
  • 1980-1981      House of Affirmation (Webster Groves, MO)
  • 1981-1983      St. Joan of Arc (St. Louis, MO); Jewish Hospital (St. Louis, MO); Barnes Hospital (St. Louis, MO) 
  • 1983                St. Francis Xavier (Bronx, NY); Jacobi Hospital (Bronx, NY); Einstein Hospital (Bronx, NY); Good Samaritan Hospital (West Islip, NY); Unassigned 
  • 1984                St. James (Woodbridge, NJ) 
  • 1984-1985      Our Lady of Mount Virgin (Middlesex, NJ)
  • 1985-1986      St. John Vianney (Colonia, NJ) 
  • 1986-1987      Christ the King (Commack, NY)
  • 1987-1988      St. Rita (Staten Island, NY) 
  • 1989                St. Luke Institute (Suitland, MD) 
  • 1989-2002      Parsons Manor (Jamaica, NY)
  • 2003-2019      Prison (Old Colony Correctional Center)

Summary of Abuse Allegations against Father Romano Ferraro:

Father Romano Ferraro is believed to have been one of the most prolific priest pedophiles on the East coast. During his 30 years as a Roman Catholic priest, he admitted in a court of law that he molested mostly prepubescent boys in the parishes he served from New York to St. Louis and while he was a Navy chaplain. 

According to media reports, in the mid 1980s, Father Ferraro allegedly abused two brothers in the Diocese of Metuchen. He was “granted a temporary leave of absence for reasons that are both personal and parochial.”

In November 1991, he was accused of sexually abusing a boy while wrestling with him that summer at a relative’s house. He was suspended in December 1988 for the alleged sexual  abuse of another boy in August of that year. He was sent for treatment at St. Luke Institute in January 1989.

In April 2002, Father Ferraro was arrested for repeatedly raping a boy from 1973 to 1980 in Billerica, Massachusetts. The boy’s father was a childhood friend of the priest. Father Ferraro molested the child during annual Christmas visits, starting when the boy was 7 years old. He was convicted in May 2004 when a jury found him guilty of child rape and guilty on three counts of indecent assault and battery against a child under 14. He was sentenced to life in prison in May 2004. 

In late 2001, the victim came forward to authorities. Prosecution was possible because the statute of limitations clock had stopped with Father Ferraro out of state. He denied the charges, but admitted at the trial that he was a pedophile predator who had abused dozens of boys. He also said he knew he was a pedophile by 1955, five years before he was ordained. 

“From the time I was 20 years old I knew I had a desire for young boys,” Ferraro testified. “I felt I had an illness… a desire to be with young boys,” said Ferraro.

In October 2002, Father Ferraro was accused in a civil suit of sexually abusing two boys at St. Joseph’s in Kings Park, New York from 1974 to 1978, starting at ages 10 and 11. The abuse included oral sex, sodomy, and attempted anal penetration of one boy. He was also accused of transporting a boy from this parish to Billerica, Massachusetts and abusing him along with the boy whom Father Ferraro was convicted of raping.

In October 2003, Father Ferraro was accused in a civil suit of sexually abusing an altar boy starting at age 8 while at Holy Family in Brooklyn, New York. According to the suit Father Ferraro abused altar boys in a local pool, where the abuse included oral sex, and on school trips to New Jersey and at a friend’s home.

In January 2004, he was accused in a civil suit  of sexually abusing an altar boy at St. Joan of Arc in St. Louis, Missouri.  Later that year in May, he was accused in another civil suit of sexually abusing an altar boy at age 11 or 12. Both suits were settled in by the archdiocese for $65,700 in August 2004.

In January 2006, Father Ferraro was accused in a civil suit of sexually abusing an 11-year-old boy in 1968 or 1969, while at gatherings of boys who were brought to the priest’s house from Mass, while he was a Navy chaplain in Key West Florida in the Archdiocese of Miami. In 1970, he was dishonorably discharged. 

During the trial, the Diocese of Brooklyn was required to disclose more than 1,000 pages of information from his personnel file which revealed that church officials knew as early as 1973 that he had abused boys. Despite this knowledge, they helped him find work in other dioceses around the country when they wanted him out of Brooklyn. According to his file, he was said to have revealed his attraction to young boys in the seminary. 

Father Ferraro was then reassigned to the St. Rose of Lima parish in Rockaway. He left in 1973 amidst allegations of child sexual abuse. While wrestling with a small boy, he allegedly touched the boy sexually twice. 

In March 2006, he was accused in a wrongful death suit of sexually abusing a boy multiple times between 1980 and 1983 at St. Joan of Arc parish in St. Louis from the age of 10 to 11. The victim struggled with depression and shot himself in July 2005. 

“Words are inadequate to describe the torment that my husband experienced before ending his life,” the widow said in a statement. “When Romano Ferraro abused my husband as a child, he forever broke something inside of the little boy.”

Father Ferraro is reported to have sexually abused children in the Dioceses of Brooklyn, Rockville Centre, Metuchen, and the Archdiocese of St. Louis. He was laicized in 2011 and was last reported to be in prison in Massachusetts.

In November 2017, Father Ferraro’s name was added to the Diocesan website of priests laicized by the Vatican office “authorized to deal with cases involving sexual abuse of minors by a cleric.”  In February 2019, his name was included in the Diocese of Brooklyn’s list of clergy credibly accused of sexual abuse of minors. It noted that he was laicized in December 2011. His name was included in the Archdiocese of St. Louis’ list in July 2019. 

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Brooklyn.  If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in Brooklyn, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Diocese of Brooklyn now have legal options to recover damages due to a compensation fund created for victims.  Call us at (888) 283-9922 or send an email to adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com to discuss your options today.