Changes made to suspended monk’s bail



Additional bail restrictions were placed Friday on a former monastery priest accused of sexually assaulting a boy on several occasions in Susquehanna County.

New bail conditions for Phillip Albert Ferrara, 48, include a provision that he may not reside in a home with a child under the age of 15.

Ferrara is no longer living at the Our Lady of Solitude monastery, located in Apolacon and Middletown townships. Court documents now list his residence in St. Marys, Kan.

District Attorney Jason Legg said his office has received a number of telephone calls from individuals in Kansas, including members of the clergy, who expressed concern because Ferrara was staying in a home with children.

Legg said he was not present at Ferrara’s arraignment when bail was set; and was also not there when arrangements were made for the former priest to waive his preliminary hearing in District Court.

“Common sense says there should be no contact with children until the matter is resolved,” Legg said.

Ferrara’s attorney, Public Defender Linda LaBarbera said her client had been living in a licensed personal care facility where he was receiving treatment and that the operator of the home was aware of the charges pending against the man.

LaBarbera said the woman, who accompanied Ferrara to the court hearing, had taken precautions and that neither Ferrara nor the children were ever left unsupervised. Children living in the home range from age six to 19.

The woman told the court that other adults live in the home and provide additional supervision.

Ferrara moved from the residence pending the outcome of the bail hearing, LaBarbera told the court.

Ferrara is charged with misdemeanor counts of indecent assault and corruption of minors in connection to alleged incidents that occurred Nov. 2010 – Jan. 2011 at the Susquehanna County monastery. He is free on unsecured bail.

Ferrara was previously referred to as Superior Hieromonk Angelus on the Our Lady of Solitude website, which is part of the Melkite (Byzantine) Catholic Church which is in full communion with the Roman Catholic Church.

Archbishop Cyril Bustros of the Melkite Eparchy in Newton, Mass., released a statement Apr. 4 that upon learning of the credible occurrence of abuse of a minor, “Rev. Ferrara was immediately suspended and relieved of all priestly duties and placed in a treatment center for evaluation.”

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