Memos link cardinal to pedophile coverup

Feb. 23, 2011 at 4:59 PM

PHILADELPHIA, Feb. 23 (UPI) -- Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua knowingly transferred a pedophile priest from New York to Missouri, church documents show.

The 1980 memos from the Diocese of Brooklyn were revealed Tuesday by the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, the Philadelphia Daily News reported. Bevilacqua was an auxiliary bishop in Brooklyn at the time and was archbishop of Philadelphia from 1988 to 2003.

Romano Ferraro, who is serving a life term in Massachusetts for raping a child there, had a well-documented record of molesting boys as priest in Brooklyn in the 1970s.

Bevilacqua had him transferred to a church in St. Louis, where he allegedly abused three more boys, the memos reveal. When Ferraro tried to return to Brooklyn, the bishop told him "to seek an assignment outside the diocese."

On Feb. 10 a Philadelphia grand jury indicted four priests on sex charges and charged a top Bevilacqua aide with a coverup.

SNAP called for grand juries to convene in Brooklyn and Pittsburgh, where Bevilacqua reportedly shielded another abusive priest.

The memos were obtained in 2009 by attorneys for a man who sued Ferraro in 2006 for abuse decades ago.

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