Father Philip Ferrara
Diocese of Scranton
Transfer to Eastern Rite: 2003
Criminal Conviction (misdemeanor): 2011
Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations against Father Philip Ferrara:
Father Philip Ferrara was ordained a priest in 1990, who served in the Diocese of Scranton. According to media reports, in 2000, Ferrara contacted Bishop James Timlin to seek his permission to establish a retreat house in the name of the Society of the Annunciation of the Lord, a religious order. Ferrara wanted to base his religious order in the eastern part of Pennsylvania and required the permission of the Bishop of Scranton to do so.
The Vatican approved the establishment of the religious order, so Timlin agreed to allow it to be based in Scranton as of January 2001. The community settled in Warren Center, Pennsylvania. For reasons that were not discussed in the grand jury report, in late 2003, Ferrara petitioned for the order to become a part of the Eastern Rite Catholic Church. It was incardinated into the Melkite Greek Catholic Diocese of Newton shortly thereafter.
In 2011, the Diocese of Scranton received a report from the mother of an 11-year-old boy that her son was sexually abused by Ferrara at the order’s retreat house in Warren Center. He later admitted to the allegation when confronted and faced six criminal charges. He was removed from ministry without privileges. Ferrara plead guilty to a misdemeanor battery charge and was sentenced to six months to two years in state prison.
Ferrara has been identified as a good friend and support of Virgil Tetherow, a Scranton priest who was convicted of possession of child pornography and fought his removal from the priesthood. Tetherow has since changed his name to “Fr. Gabriel,” and now runs a schismatic church near Harrisburg.
In 2018, he was included in the PA Grand Jury Report.
Ferrara now resides in the Topeka, Kansas, area. He will be a registered sex offender until 2039.
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 may have legal options, but filing deadlines will apply so do not delay in reaching out to us. Our lawyers have decades of experience representing survivors of clergy sexual abuse in Pennsylvania and nationwide. We can help.