Father Anthony Failla
Diocese of Brooklyn
Assigned as follows:
- Tilden High School Newman Club
- John Jay High School Newman Club
- Long Island College Hospital Nursing School
- St. Brendan High School
- Saints Michael and Edward
- 1957-1961: Holy Family Church (Brooklyn, NY)
- 1962-1975: St. Mary Star of the Sea (Brooklyn, NY)
- 1976-1978: St. Boniface’s (Brooklyn, NY)
- 1979-1997: St. Finbar’s Church (Brooklyn, NY)
- 1990: Society of St. Vincent de Paul (Brooklyn, NY)
- 1991-1993: Italian Board of Guardians (Brooklyn, NY)
- 1994-1998: Catholic Charities (Brooklyn, NY)
- 1998-2002: Absent on Sick Leave
Summary of Abuse Allegations against Father Anthony Failla:
According to media reports, in 1996, three nuns accused Fr. Anthony Failla of repeatedly sexually abusing a 12-year-old boy who had been living in the rectory after the death of his mother. The abuse reportedly occurred about 30 to 40 times over several years in the mid-1970s.
“I remember dozing off and waking up, and he’d be touching me and trying to grab my hand to put it on him,” the alleged victim said. “I was scared, you know, I’m like, what the hell, you know. So I don’t know, should I act like I’m asleep? Should I get the hell out of here? Who’s going to believe me? I wanted to tell somebody, but I’m thinking, they’ll call me a liar. He’s a priest.”
When confronted by Msgr. Otto Garcia, chancellor of the Diocese of Brooklyn, Failla confessed to some inappropriate touching. He was removed from ministry and sent for counseling. He left his parish assignment in 1997 citing personal health reasons. In the early 2000s, Failla was found saying mass and hearing confessions at St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church in Boca Raton, Florida. He was permanently removed from ministry in November 2002.
In October 2003, he was one of the multiple priests named in a lawsuit alleging child sexual abuse. His name was included on the Archdiocese of Los Angeles’ updated list of clergy credibly accused of child sexual abuse. In February 2019, his name was included on the Diocese of Brooklyn’s list of clergy credibly accused of child sexual abuse.
Failla’s whereabouts between 2003 and his death in 2018 are unknown.
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 [email protected] to discuss your options today.