Father Ralph Ferraldo
Diocese of Scranton
Leave of Absence: 1986, 1988
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 Sexual Abuse Allegations against Father Ralph Ferraldo:
Father Ralph Ferraldo was ordained a priest in 1970, who served in multiple parishes in the Diocese of Scranton. According to media reports, 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’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 such trauma.
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 2018, he was first named publicly as accused in the PA Grand Jury Report. In 2002, the Archdiocese of New York notified the Diocese of Scranton that a man reported being sexually abused by Ferraldo when he was 16 or 17 years old in 1983.
In July 2020, new claims against Fr. Ferraldo came to light. A man filed a lawsuit against the Diocese of Scranton, stating he was sexually assaulted between 1982 and 1983 by Fr. Ferraldo, while Ferraldo at Our Lady of Grace Parish in Hazleton, PA. The victim claims Ferraldo abused him in the rectory of the church. According to the Grand Jury Report published in 2018, the Diocese of Scranton was notified of the abuse, but that nothing was done.
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 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.