Former Iona Prep student alleges abuse by Irish Christian Brothers, culture of silence

Rockland/Westchester Journal News

  • Schools in New York and New Jersey moved around — what lawyers claim is — one of the most prolific abusers of the Irish Christian Brothers.
  • Ferro is one of the six current members of the order on a list of Christian Brothers with more than one abuse claim against them.
  • The Christian Brothers said the order was aware of this abuse claim, which was filed as part of the bankruptcy case

Lawyers for former Iona Prep student Richard Cardillo believe the lawsuit they plan to file in August will reveal the sexual abuse and secrecy in the Christian Brothers order.

Richard Cardillo grew up in Westchester and looked like any other student at Iona Prep during the early 1970s.

Now he is breaking his silence on what he says was a culture of sexual abuse and secrecy that was pervasive in the Irish Christian Brothers order, including at his former high school at Iona Prep in New Rochelle.

Cardillo alleges in an interview with The Journal News/lohud that a faculty member at Iona Prep sexually abused him, and that in exchange for his silence he was allowed to join the order he thought was his only option to deal with his sexuality.

Cardillo's claim comes after a wave of accusations against a religious order that ran private schools throughout the country broke in February.

Cardillo's lawyers think they can help expose more of Brother Salvatore Ferro's alleged abuse.

Cardillo is jointly represented by the Marsh Law Firm, based in New York, and Pfau Cochran Vertetis Amala PLLC, based in Seattle — two law firms working together on sex abuse cases in New York after passage of the Child Victims Act.

“We believe that Brother Ferro was one of the more prolific abusers in the Christian Brothers, and that he was transferred from school to school because of this sexual abuse," Jason Amala, of Pfau Cochran Vertetis Amala PLLC, said.

The Irish Christian Brothers were founded in 1802 with the purpose of evangelizing and educating young people. In addition to Iona Prep and Blessed Sacrament, the Brothers — who were headquartered in New York — have schools in New York and New Jersey as well as throughout the country.

Some other Christian Brothers schools include:

  • Power Memorial Academy (New York, New York)
  • Cardinal Hayes High School (Bronx, New York)
  • Bishop Kearney High School (Rochester, New York)
  • Sacred Heart Grammar School (New York, New York)
  • Notre Dame/Bishop Gibbons High School (Albany, New York)
  • Essex Catholic High School (Newark, New Jersey)
  • Bergen Catholic High School (Oradell, New Jersey)
  • Cantwell High School (Los Angeles, California)
  • Palma High School (Salinas, California)

In 2017 the Irish Christian Brothers released a list of members who had more than one abuse claim against them. Claims against these men were never validated, as part of the bankruptcy settlement agreement.

  • Angel, Larry K. (deceased)
  • Barry, Gerald K. (former)
  • Beckstrom, Robert E. (former)
  • Brouillette, Robert (former)
  • Burton, David B. (Brother)
  • Carr, Michael T. (deceased)
  • Carroll, Francis (deceased)
  • Casale, Albert (former)
  • Chaney, John (Brother)
  • Cobb, Alan S. (former)
  • Collins, Donald Cecil (deceased)
  • Condon, Eugene (former)
  • Courtney, Edward (former)
  • Delamere, Frank P. (former)
  • Duffin, Thomas (deceased)
  • Dunn, James Claver (deceased)
  • Ferro, Salvatore (Brother)
  • Ford, Thomas C. (deceased)
  • French, Edward George (Brother)
  • Gardner, Stephen Justin (former)
  • Hanney, James (former)
  • Heathwood, John (deceased)
  • Heustis, Jerome (deceased)
  • Hewitt, Andrew Thomas (deceased)
  • Houlihan, James Alvarez (deceased)
  • Irwin, Charles (deceased)
  • Kealey, John (deceased)
  • Kernan, Joseph (deceased)
  • Lasik, Ronald (Brother)
  • Lawlor, John (former)
  • Medvit, Paul (deceased)
  • Murphy, Clement Adan (deceased)
  • Murphy, John E. (former)
  • Murphy, Thomas Ignatius (deceased)
  • Nash, Dermod (deceased)
  • Neary, Walter D. (deceased)
  • O'Connor, John J. (former)
  • Padilla, Ruben Mark (former)
  • Post, Robert (former)
  • Ralph, Alan Gerard (Brother)
  • Reycraft, Paul S. (former)
  • Ryan, Daniel Peter (deceased)
  • Satterthwaite, Robert (deceased)
  • Stoyles, Michael E. (deceased)
  • Thompson, James (former)
  • Thorne, Harold (Brother)
  • Walderman, J. Matthew (Brother)
  • Walsh, Michael (deceased)
  • Warren, James V. (deceased)
Find more information online here.

Filed Under  Catholic Church  Child Victims Act (CVA)  Childhood Sexual Abuse  News 

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