Fr Francis Furfaro – Diocese of Syracuse

| Jul 29, 2019 | Catholic Church

Father Francis Furfaro

Diocese of Syracuse

Francis Furfaro Horowitz Law

Ordained: 1941

Elevated to Monsignor: Unknown

Removed: 2003

Died: 2010

Assigned as follows:

  • 1942 – 1949      Our Lady of Pompeii, (Syracuse, NY)
  • 1950 – 1991      St. Joseph (Oswego, NY)
  • 1973 – 1978      Episcopal Vicar (Oswego County)
  • 1979 – 1996      Vicar-General (Northern Area Vicar)
  • 1984 – 2001      Oswego County Jail, (Oswego, NY)
  • 1993 – 1996      St. Louis, (Oswego, NY)
  • 1997                   Vicars Forane (Northern Area Vicar)

Summary of Abuse Allegations Against Father Francis Furfaro:

According to media reports, in 1998 Father Francis J. Furfaro admitted to abusing a 19-year-old man in 1989 while counseling the teen after the death of his sister. The man said Furfaro persuaded him to live in the rectory for months at a time, supplying him with alcohol, cash and pornographic movies. He said Furfaro pressed him into a sexual relationship that lasted until after he was married in 1990.

According to a court filing in the Diocese of Syracuse bankruptcy case, an alleged victim of Father Furfaro reportedly sent a letter in 1961 to the Diocese of Syracuse’s Bishop Walter Foery to report that he was abused at age nine by Furfaro in July 1951 during a vacation that the victim’s family took with the priest to Lake Oswego.  The victim also reported that he was sexually abused by Furfaro in the bathroom of St. Joseph in Oswego.  He asked that priest be terminated by the Diocese.

In December 1999, Father Furfaro was sent for treatment to Saint Luke Institute, a psychiatric hospital in Maryland established for the evaluation and treatment of pedophile priests, after diocesan officials determined the allegation was credible. The complaint was later settled by the Diocese of Syracuse.

In April 2003, a $22.5 million lawsuit against the Diocese of Syracuse alleged that Furfaro sexually abused seven men, five of whom were minors at the times of the alleged incidents.  The dates of abuse ranged from 1949 to 1987.

One man said he was an altar server at St. Joseph in the mid-1960s when Father Furfaro came to his family’s home to talk to him about the priesthood. He said the priest molested him when his father left them briefly to go to the bathroom. Father Furfaro told him God would get even with him if he ever told anyone about the abuse, he said.

Another man alleged that Furfaro grabbed him by the crotch on numerous occasions around 1962-1964 at the St. Joseph rectory when he was 15 to 18 years old.

A thrid man said Furfaro had sexual contact with him as an adult in the St. Joseph rectory, when he sought counseling from Furfaro because his marriage was breaking up.

One man alleged that Furfaro stuck his hands inside the man’s pants around 1953 when the victim was 6 years old.

Another man said Furfaro unexpectedly climbed into bed with him around 1949, and attempted to have anal sex with him.

“Father Furfaro abused scores of boys and young men during his approximately 40 years as an active priest in the Diocese, and at no time during those 40 years did either church or the Diocese with which he was associated warn parishioners that there was a known danger in their midst,” the lawsuit charged.

The Diocese of Syracuse stated that Father Furfaro had been permanently removed from ministry as a result of credible allegations of child sexual abuse in June 2003. In August 2003, the Diocese of Syracuse quietly removed Furfaro’s name from the facade of the St. Joseph Church parish center in Oswego.

Father Furfaro voluntarily retired in 1991 but continued to exercise priestly faculties for more than a decade after that. He died in March 2010, at the age of 93.

Father Furfaro’s name appeared on the Diocese of Syracuse’s list of clergy credibly accused of sexual abuse of minors, published in December 2018.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Syracuse in New York.  The Diocese of Syracuse filed for federal bankruptcy protection in June 2020.  Anyone sexually abused by a priest or employee of the Diocese of Syracuse may be entitled to file a claim against the Diocese in these bankruptcy proceedings, but very strict filing deadlines apply.  Most victims of abuse in the Diocese of Syracuse will never be able to take any legal action if they miss this bankruptcy filing deadline, so it is important that you contact us immediately to discuss your potential case.  Our lawyers have decades of experience representing survivors of clergy sexual abuse in New York and nationwide. We can help.

Contact us at 888-283-9922 or [email protected] to discuss your options today.