Catholic Priest

Ralph N. Ferraldo

Diocese: Diocese of Scranton

From Report I of the 40th Statewide Investigating Grand Jury for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania:

On December 3, 1974, Chancellor James C. Timlin received a telephone call from a female who stated that her 16-year-old son had been touched by Father Ralph N. Ferraldo in an immoral manner.  She further reported that Ferraldo had done this to other altar boys and to an orderly at a local hospital.  The female did not want to provide her name.  When questioned by Timlin and Bishop J. Carroll McCormick, Ferraldo denied the allegations. He did admit that he had older boys visit his room in the rectory, but nothing wrong had occurred. He was asked not to do that anymore. Ferraldo thereafter asked for a transfer out of Nanticoke if things were being said about him. He was informed that it was their understanding that the talk was not widespread and it would be an admission of guilt for him to be moved.

The caller was subsequently notified of the meeting between McCormick, Timlin and Ferraldo.  She maintained that her son was telling the truth.  She was told that if she wanted to pursue the matter, her son would have to come forward and face Ferraldo.  Timlin pointed out that it was possible that her son was mistaken.

An October 3, 1985 note in the Diocesan records reveals that an evaluation on Ferraldo was undertaken after a report of inappropriate behavior with a hospital patient was received.

On February 14, 1986, two staff members from Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center called Timlin to report that Ferraldo made improper sexual advances against a 23-year-old male patient.  Ferraldo admitted to this allegation, stating that he did not know what comes over him.

Ferraldo agreed to immediately leave his assignment and not return to the hospital. Timlin instructed Ferraldo to make arrangements for other priests to cover his masses and to tell them that he was not feeling well.  He was further directed to report for evaluation and counseling.

On November 30, 1988, Timlin granted Ferraldo an indefinite leave of absence.

On May 14, 2002, the Archdiocese of New York notified the Diocese of Scranton that a male had reported that he was sexually abused by Ferraldo in 1982-1983 when he was 16 or 17 years of age.  On June 6, 2002, Father Kopacz, Vicar for Priests, wrote that he had spoken with the victim and advised him that Ferraldo was removed from the ministry in the late 1980s and that he died in the early 1990s.  The victim informed Kopacz that he did not report the sexual misconduct in order to expose Ferraldo, to embarrass the Church, or, to bring suit against the Church.  Instead, he revealed the abuse for the sake of reconciliation.

Additional information regarding the widespread sexual abuse of children within the Catholic Dioceses of Pennsylvania and the systemic cover up by senior church officials is compiled in the Pennsylvania Diocese Victim’s Report published by the Pennsylvania Attorney General following a two-year grand jury investigation.  A complete copy of the Report is available on the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s website.