Calls for clergy abuse database; Point of Grace

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Friday’s RNS report starts off with a report by Jeff Diamant about renewed calls from victims’ advocates for a national database of clergy abusers, following last month’s grand jury report on abuse in Philadelphia: Amid all the disturbing tales of priests being charged with sexually abusing minors, stories about Nicholas Cudemo stand out. When a […]

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    The story deals with the following topics; clergy abuse, mishandlings of the case by the Archdiocese, priest lack of compliance to restrictions, church leaders hypocrisy and secrecy, victims actions and conditions to provide a safer community.

    The Beast is Silent
    An account of clergy abuse from a survivor
    Based on a true story

    The story deals with the following topics; clergy abuse, mishandlings of the case by the Archdiocese, priest lack of compliance to restrictions, church leaders hypocrisy and secrecy, victims actions and conditions to provide a safer community.

    By Michael Iatesta


    The Fortress 3
    Priest Turned Beast 6
    Cage Boy 12
    Boy Priest 20
    Opened Cage 22
    The Beast’s Dues 25
    Awakening and Action 26
    Vatican’s Position Does Not Help Situation 30
    Conclusion 31
    Helpful references 32

    The Fortress:
    One day I was watching the news and witnessed a young man crying as he finally revealed his story of sexual abuse by a Catholic priest. That night I went to bed feeling guilty and almost responsible. You see, I too have kept a secret of sexual and emotional abuse in order to protect not the victim but the offender.

    My offender is “The Beast”.

    At the fortress in Verona, New Jersey nightly visitations by young boys are frequent, masked by the facade of “vocational counseling”. The women gatekeepers bow their heads in disgrace, saying their rosary, as they silently watch these situations unfold.

    After many years of devotion, commitment and faith, these women are mystified by such actions. They have dedicated their entire lives to the church and now they are witnesses to such acts of impiety. They dare not tell their husbands, the stories in the daily papers have already devastated their faith. The newspaper headlines shatter the myth that priests are infallible and remind us that they are sinners like us all.

    Just last week the head housekeeper quit her job. She met with the monsignor and informed him of what she saw with her own eyes. She said, “I can no longer work in a place where men are keepers of deceit, sin and disloyalty”.

    He listened to her while examining his own betrayals and when it was time to speak he said, “I’m saddened to hear that your leaving us, your were one of our finest. Are assured that what you discussed here will be further explored and those who are found to be responsible will be reprimanded”?

    She left doubting any thing would change and he knew he would not speak a word about it to anybody. If word leaked out, this would ruin his reputation and tarnish his chances of becoming a Bishop one day. He also keeps secrets under the covers and prays that his victims keep silent. He stood up from his chair and shredded the notes he took from the housekeeper.

    However, he was particularly concerned about one priest. A meeting with the Bishop revealed two known reports of molestation against the clergyman. The victims were all under the age of sixteen. He remedied the situation by ordering him to attend an intensive inpatient facility in New Jersey for a month. As far as he knew he was there and receiving treatment. The monsignor was going to call the clinical facilitator to check his status. As it turned out, he attended sessions sporadically, was non-compliant with the staff, and when in group therapy he sat back and was resistant to treatment. He once told another counselor, “I’m here just for the count”. Because of his resistance the priest gained no benefit from treatment.

    Once he returned, they hoped a miracle and transformation would have taken place. They gave him a new assignment as a chaplain, at an all-girl college to minimize any temptation with boys. He expressed his disappointment with his new assignment and tried to finagle himself into a co-ed college or high school. However, the archbishop was persistent and would not change his mind. He drove to his new home like a child punished by his parents.

    The grounds at the college were beautiful in that the buildings once again resembled mini castles but he thought they would be more magnificent if there were young boys walking around. Another priest introduced him to the staff and gave him the tour of the college. The last stop was a co-ed gym, the most exciting moment thus far. The college shared the gym with the all boy high school down the avenue. The priest was flabbergasted. He said to himself “this must be heaven, God’s still on my side”. His world seemed to glisten at all the possibilities that might present themselves.

    Instantly, he thought about how he would charm these young boys into his web. He was not out of rehabilitation for over 24 hours and already planning his next move. Sometimes he would wonder if God gave him too much adrenalin and if that were the case, he would have to let it out somehow. Face it he was only human.

    He never really questioned being a priest, he only questioned being celibate. Actually, what would he be if not a priest? He really had no other skills or talents. In his mind, being a priest was easy and rewarding. His entire life was geared to be a disciple of God. He subconsciously acknowledged that fringe benefits came with being a priest. You were given three meals a day, your laundry was washed, dried and ironed, no financial worries, and you were always invited as a guest to someone’s home. Sometimes if you were very lucky, they would have a young boy waiting at home that would serve as a scrumptious dessert.

    In some ways, the priesthood kept him as a child and protected him from the outside world. While others saw him as a respected leader, he was more of a lost child in search of a lost identity. The priesthood kept him from maturing as an adult and facing the difficult realities of this world. He bragged about how he cured a girl with cancer yet he was unable to manage his own paltry life.

    When he arrived at the accommodations, he wondered how many priests before him conducted “business” as he did in the solemn room. He unpacked his clothes and took out a bottle of bourbon given to him as a gift by an old seminarian friend.

    He did not see himself as a drinker, but usually under stressful times enjoyed his cocktails. He wasn’t sure if it was just the jitters of the new surroundings or something else. Was he worried he may, one day, be caught, defrocked and arrested? He flirted with denial to pacify his actions.

    He first started to sip and then began to take large swigs of his drink. He began to feel no pain so he decided to lie on the couch and take a rest. During his sleep, he had a nightmare of lying on the beach with seagulls consuming him. He tried to escape but could not. People were around him but they just watched and laughed. He almost was totally devoured except for his head. A young boy picked it up, walked toward the ocean, and threw the head into the sea.

    Everyone watched laughing as his head sunk to the bottom of the sea. Once on the bottom of the sea he heard a voice of a young boy saying repeatedly, “Your time will come, some one will uncover your secrets”. He awoke and took another slug of his drink. His head was intact but throbbing.

    He promised the bishop he would call him once he settled and finally he decided to get it over with and make the call. He was not fond of the bishop since he was aware of his actions. When the Bishop picked up the phone he asked how he liked his new accommodations and the priest replied that they were fine. Right before the conversation was about to end the Bishop reminded the priest of his vows of celibacy and that there would be no second chance if he were to “fall off the wagon”. The priest assured him that he promised to abide by the church’s laws, regulations and his vows. He knew deep down that the desires of the flesh were much stronger then those of his words. He thought to himself that he had to cover his tracks more carefully and be certain to find only the most vulnerable and timid child so fear would keep them from exposing him.

    This conceited priest kept in good shape for his age of fifty five. The first thing he did when he arrived at his new headquarters was sign up at the gym. For priests there was a small nominal fee of five dollars a week to join. The priest was in no financial crisis, in fact, he was very secure with a savings over $500,000. However, he would lead people to believe that he barely had enough money for bread and butter. Most of his money came from the sales of his tapes and books plus inheritance. He was saving his money so that when he retired he wouldn’t have to live at the retirement home with the other humdrum priests. He had plans to build a home down south Jersey and live out his retirement in revered style.

    Each afternoon at 3pm, when the high school boys were around, he would run four miles, bike 5 miles and do some light weight lifting. The best part of going to the gym for him now was what he called “eye candy”, the beautiful bodies of young boys in their teens. He would marvel at their physique and desire to wrap himself around them. The priest would shower there because this would give him double for his money. He would actual begin to breath harder as he entered the locker room. He loved the musty odor that came out of it and he love the sight of boys changing in and out of clothes.

    Once he was naked, he would only go to a certain shower stall. He would use the shower stall in the back because it was one with a hole in the curtain so he could sneak a peak at the young teen’s bodies. This got him so excited that he would begin to stroke himself until he was finished. After he was done with a devilish grin he would say, “I’m such a dirty old man, but a lucky one.” He headed back to the rectory feeling good like one would feel after watching the ending of a jovial movie.

    Back from the gym and alone in his room the priest would begin to mastermind his hunt. He would examine his conscious as he looked in the mirror. He admires his body and hungers for the touch of a young boy’s hand. He remembers his vow of celibacy, but knows it does not work for him or for most of his peers. Many of them share stories of their affairs with the outside world and the temptations they confront daily. Few, however, speak about “crossing the line” by submitting to their carnal desires. This priest crossed the line daily and his subconscious marked him “The Beast”.

    Somehow, he rationalized his behavior by telling himself that his was only human and as a human being, he was flawed. He never examined the consequences of his actions or the damage he would cause his “victims”. He actually taught himself to believe that he was doing them some good by loving them and giving them the attention they required. He had a strong ego that blocked his ability to recognize reality. His “id” never rested.

    He once told a young boy if he would be his “son” he would have no problems to worry about, that everything would be taking care of. He was always in need of controlling someone because his own life was so out of control. He controlled the young by manipulating them in believing in his lies. He was good at this because he was doing this most of his adult life. Call him the master of deceit.

    Priest Turned Beast
    The Beast was not happy with this afternoon’s appointment. The boy was stocky about fifteen with red hair and freckles. He was an alter boy from the parish. Asked if he would like a massage before the “vocational counseling”, he obediently, but fearfully, replied, “Yes”.

    As he stood before him, The Beast directed him to remove his clothes. Then, dressed only in his briefs, The Beast directed him to the bed. The boy submissively followed instructions, and The Beast gave him his “special massage”.

    However, he could not keep his mind off Michael, the boy he met last week. He actually kept his eyes closed and pretended that it was Michael who was on the bed. “He’s the one I want on the bed,” he thought to himself. “He’s the one I want to massage”. I found love with a boy name Michael.

    However, the moment is now, and the deed must be done. An hour passes and not a word is spoken. When he finishes, The Beast reminds the young boy about their secret. The young boy soon left in tears and the Beast knelt by the bed for his afternoon prayers. “Bless me father for I have sinned…” After this confession, he cleansed his hands as if he was cleansing his soul. Although the act was complete, he still felt unfulfilled. Confused on what was right and wrong with his actions the Beast decided to nap.

    The Beast would talk himself out of thinking what he was doing was wrong. He would say, “These boys need love and attention and who better is the one to adore them”. He looked around the room and for the first time felt a sense of loneliness. He yearned for companionship, someone to come home to, someone to eat with and someone to make love with together.

    Although, in the rectory, there were other priest the Beast did very little socializing with them. They shared few interests together and he felt they were inferior. He knew one priest who was gay and on the weekends would sneak out to New York City and do the gay bar circuit. It was the only time he felt he was complete. He was like a new man on Sunday, refreshed and prepared for the week ahead. The Beast thought “everyone has their vices so why should I feel guilty about mine”. “What I’m doing is an act of love and affection”. Once at a conference the Beast visited a gay bar and was overwhelmed with his surroundings. He stroked up a conversation with a young man and got into an intense argument about gays, pedophiles and the priesthood. It ruined the rest of the evening for him so he just left but knew that he would one day be back to visit.

    The Priest in the next room drinks a bottle of scotch a night and is up and alert the next day. He even knew a priest who on the weekend would pack his bags with women’s cloths and drive to Manhattan and dress as a woman. New York seemed to be the Mecca for many priests. Who is to say what is right or wrong. In their minds, they were free to do as they pleased as long as they were prepared to say mass on Sunday and perform the sacraments. Wearing masks covered their convictions.

    The Beast also knew a majority of priest who were true to their vows of celibacy. He was jealous of them because he could not be like them. These priests performed mass and the sacraments conducted public services and were loved by the parishioners. The Beast was uncomfortable with them because he believed they could read right through him. Why they are so obedient to the priesthood and Vatican wonder the Beast? After talking with them, he would take a silent vow to be like them but this proved to be impossible. He would then say to himself they have skeletons in their closets to so why should I worry. He subconsciously dismissed the possibility of their being priests with no wrongdoings.

    After prayers, the Beast tells the reflection in mirror that he is a man of miraculous power and that his following worships him like those who followed Jesus. He even thought of how Jesus was tempted and that eased some of his guilt from his sexual rituals. He cried out to the mirror and pounded on the desk, “everyone keeps secrets.” However, this lasted only a few seconds, as he would be reminded of the worshippers anxiously awaiting his presence on the altar. His ego was stroked by how ecstatic they would get upon their sighting of his holiness. He loved the center of attention. All his life he was noticed as the kindhearted boy, man priest who could do no harm. He felt like a king on his throne. He would tell himself that they were there for him, and he was there to perform miracles. He held power over the almighty, weak, vulnerable and wounded. He was stronger then them. Without him their problems, illnesses, and hardships would remain unresolved. Often his homilies were about his mission and the amount of souls he saved throughout the world. He was so charismatic that his audience would stare at him with astonishment.

    They believed by his mere touch that the blind would once again see, the crippled walk, and those with cancer be cured. He once told a grieving mother whose son committed suicide “if your son (who fell victim to the Beast and might have been the reason for this boy’s suicide) kept coming to me he still would be alive”. He showed no sympathy because he was the Beast and lacked emotions and empathy. However, at times he doubted his very own intentions when it came to miracle working but the congregation believed in him and that’s all that counted. He communicated with God by keeping his desires of the flesh veiled behind his consciousness. He read from a prayer book constantly to keep his thoughts focused on holy words not on his secret desires. For some reason, the Bible scared him, and it would tremble in his hands. The prayer book was safer, more comforting, and less powerful. In many ways, the bible was too “heavy” of a book for him to carry.

    He was a distinguished author of books and cassette recordings about healing, using them as bait to increase his selection of potential prey and a faithful following. He had set up a web site to increase his popularity and profit.
    For free of cost, he manipulated a poor kind -hearted distributor to produce his materials. The distributor gave up a well needed second job to do his charitable work for the Beast. He was clever when it came to manipulating people even if it meant taking advantage and hurting other people. He thought to himself “money for healing”.

    The beast had a passport to the world. He would often travel leaving his flock alone. He would say to himself that they would manage without him for a short period of time. The world gave him access to many young boys who would never say no to his godliness. Once in Mexico he took the alter boys out for a day trip. Although he didn’t abuse them he was surrounded by their innocence and that in it gave him an intoxicating high. The various cultures he visited demanded the natives to respect priests at any cost and at times they paid the consequences when engaged with the Beast. The distance made him feel safer because he could exploit his adolescence and then fly away. On the plane he would sit back and measure his success by the encounters he laid a hand on. The flights always appeared short as he was always preoccupied with the planning of his next journey to “heaven”.

    At home his admirers gathered by the thousands, feeding his ego and adding to his choice of captives. He wore a gold ring on his finger that symbolized that he was God’s servant. Deep down inside he believed he was no one’s servant. He would always take his ring off when he engaged in his secret activities found wrongful by man, the Church and God. He believed the ring had secret powers. Whenever he walked down the aisle he would say to himself, “They love me, look at them, how I could be of anyone’s harm? What would they do without me?” He also would take this opportunity to scout out for a lonesome stray soul that would require his intercession. His cages (traps) were empty, and they needed to be filled tonight at any cost. He paced around the room thinking how lucky he was to be in the position to have such a dedicated following. He said to himself, “No one will betray me; I’m greater than other priest; I have the power to heal. I have the power to cure!” With a twisted grin on his face, he said silently, “It’s amazing what people believe when they are in such desperate need. Be glad you lowly ones; may your hearts be glad!”

    “I must leave now in case Michael decides to come early. I will ask him to be my alter boy,” said the Beast. Michael mentioned he would be coming. This made the Beast’s blood rush throughout his body that he could hardly prepare himself to leave. “By tonight I will have him all to myself, he will be mine”, he thought to himself. As the Beast walked down the stairway, he could smell the fresh batch of cookies prepared by the housekeeper. He could not resist. He bit into one and smiled. The sweetness reminded him of the taste of the boy he was about to meet. The child’s sweat so clean, so sweet and so young. His scent mingled with cologne given to the child as a passage to manhood. He thought, “with that scent I could easily find my sweet child amongst the crowds of New York City”. He kept whispering Michael’s name as if he would appear after a certain amount of repetitions. As he stepped outside, he noticed it was raining. He envisioned showering with Michael while exploring every part of his body. The Beast gave himself permission to do such an act of cleansing because he was the master and Michael was his most wanted boy toy. He saw it as a personal feat of baptism. As the rain fell upon the umbrella, he longed to share this moment with Michael. Crossing puddles, he could see his reflection and for a split second he thought, “Am I out of control, why do I have such a lust for youth?” It was these moments when he was tempted or pressured into irrational behavior. He prayed that he would stop and think before he acted out. He would say” I ask God to remove these impulses and help me to grow into the person I’m expected to be.

    He crosses the eerie castle’s walkway covered with vine and heads to the church. The congregation is full and awaits their mighty self-appointed king. He is thrilled that the church is filled with mesmerized admirers. He prides himself on the number of people in attendance. It assures him that he is a good man and loved by many, and atoned by their mere presence. He is the one they worship. He bathes in their praises. Their singing and chanting gives him a rush of excitement. The charismatic congregation began speaking in tongues as the priest stood outside the vestibule. He thought to himself that today I will pray for the wisdom to build a better tomorrow on the mistakes and experience of yesterday.

    The two alter boys by his side were new to the parish and he thought perhaps one day new to his carnage of innocence. He thinks, “The collection offering will exceed my wildest expectation”. He knew that the money was not always used toward the church, especially when it was beyond the average collection. A good percentage of it went to his savings for a new home down the shore. He acted independently from the other priest and most especially from the archdiocese.

    There was tension between the Beast and the archdiocese because they wanted the Beast to become more involved with pastoral duties and public service. They wanted more control of his priestly activities. The Beast would simply ignore their requests. He wanted to run his own performance. He actually despised the Archdiocese because they would often attempt to place limits on his professional agenda.

    The other Priest saw what he was doing as hocus-pocus (Charismatic Healing) and wanted nothing to do with it. They were actually suspicious of his ministry but would say nothing in fear they would stir up tension. He was given a free license to do what he wanted and that included child exploitation. He was unaccountable and responsible to no one but himself. He had succeeded in manipulating the system to work for him and not for the system. He placed all other priests in a similar category, one that concealed secrets of the human soul.

    He was a proud man because of the battles he won with the archdiocese. The Church authorities set him free because it wanted to avoid trouble and conflict. They rationalized that he was bringing in enough crowds and money so let him be. However, they also knew he had a long-standing problem with his vow of celibacy because of previous incidents of which they were aware of. They insisted that he attend a support group for priest with similar sexual proclivities. To this he conceded. He attended the support group for the sake of being counted like his stay in the rehabilitation facility in New Jersey. He was conceited even there, feeling above everyone in attendance.

    It was time and the performance began. The music was loud and instruments were joyfully playing. As he walked down the aisle, his eyes glazed around the congregation hoping to find the young boy he met several weeks ago. This boy seemed to have fallen into his trap, and he was confident that he would be at this service. Michael was young and innocent. The Beast was able to hug him when they first met. When he hugged him, he knew then Michael was the boy he yearned for. At the alter, as the Beast arrived, he became distraught because Michael was not amongst the crowd. The Beast felt like leaving instead of going ahead with the mass. The mass meant nothing now. He was actually tired of saying mass, tired of being a priest and plus he wanted to hunt Michael down. This was the only reliable way to meet his prey, to feed his ego, and to satisfy his secret desires. He said to himself, “You have to go to the ocean if you want to catch the fish. God help me to avoid the temptations to deceive myself by justifying my actions when they are going wrong. Make me strong enough to do what I should to keep me serene. Conflicted he began his ritual of faith.

    Was not it true that these services were more for solicitation purposes than prayer? It seemed that his appetite for young children had become insatiable over the years. It was coming to the point where it occupied his mind constantly. Even when performing the sacraments this passion to be with a child would take control, and he could hardly concentrate on what he was saying or doing. If a young boy entered the confessional booth the Beast would ask the basic questions but would also ask some inappropriate ones around the boy’s sexual activity or fantasies. He would try to get at the details and at the same time begin stroking himself until he was finished. Sometimes he would make it a point to open the door when the boy left to see who it was and make a mental note for his next detainee. All he knew was his cage was still empty.

    On his throne, he eyed his audience but did not see his most important person. He said to himself, “He must come; I must have him tonight. I am hungry for his flesh “While the choir sang, the Beast was calculating on how he would capture Michael’s attention if he arrives. He was a natural hunter and smiled at the thought of what easy prey vulnerable children were. He would think how he used his priestly trappings to fool innocent children. The hunt thrilled him. He became excited at the thought of taking advantage of the goodness of a child.

    Introduced to him by his cousin he could not stop thinking about Michael. He was grieving his father’s death. “He needs me,” thought the Beast; “the boy’s wings have been broken. He came to me lost in tears.” He wanted his dad back and could not accept that his dad was dead. Since this boy is in search of a father figure, it will be an easy catch. “I’m what he needs,” said the Beast. “I will find him and make him mine. It is essential he shows up tonight and if not I will call him. I must have him tonight. I am hungry for him. I need to embrace him, smother him with my kisses, and make him mine. He should feel privileged that I have selected him to be my chosen one. No one must have him except me. I will get his phone number from his cousin if he does not show up”. Tonight will not pass without my arms around his smooth, young, masculine, and striking body.

    Cage Boy (Self Diary)
    I came from a poor working class family in Bloomfield, New Jersey. As events have proved, I was a vulnerable teenager. However, I was vulnerable only because of my innate spirituality and trust in the Church, not because of family dysfunction or neglect. People identified me as a kind-hearted, spiritual, and fun teenager.

    I was an accomplished runner in high school, who held the record in the mile at High School for many years. I was popular with my school -mates, both male and female, and voted “King of the Prom” in my senior year. My teenage friends were decent boys and girls. To this day, I maintain close and trusting ties with many of them, fine and hard working people.

    I was equally popular with relatives and neighbors, no matter what age or background. Often, you would find me gardening with my neighbor, an 85-year-old woman who was notoriously crabby to everyone, including her poor husband. Somehow, I was able to bring out the best in this fundamentally good woman, because of my natural compassion and openness.

    As a youth, I had a strong love of nature, and spent much time fishing, hiking, and caring for my pets. Many hilarious family stories of me and various crises involving pets and wild animals that I would adopt and care for were shared at the dinner table.

    I was extremely spiritual as a teenager. My love of the Church was evidenced by regular attendance at mass, prayer, action, and genuine gestures of love to those around me. My gifts to my mother and sisters would often include cards with prayerful poems and stories that I composed. I volunteered to help handicapped and elderly persons during my teen-age years and spent hundreds of hours assisting many.

    My mother, Dolores, has the biggest and most Christian heart that I know of. I cannot remember having a Christmas meal at her house when there were not visitors from outside of the family, lonely people with serious emotional and mental disabilities. She spent her career as a supervisory nurse at a hospital, a former agency of the Archdiocese. Before retirement, she was a part time, night supervisor, but in actuality, rarely worked less than 40 hours. Because of an exceptional energy level, she was able to be the bread- winner after her husband’s death, without sacrificing motherly duties. Until recently, she rarely slept for more than 4 hours per night. She was a member of a choir, and was known for dropping off Italian and Polish delicacies to the priests at the parish. She rarely if ever spent time on herself. She was and is completely unselfish, trusting, and caring. When my sisters and I were in grammar school, she supported the work of the nuns and lay teachers by working in the library, running hot dog sales, contributing to bake sales, etc.

    My mom lost her mother and father before she was age 5 and lost her husband when she was 43. Her children were age 17, 13, 12, and 8 when her husband, also named Michael, died.

    I was thirteen when my father died and having a very difficult time accepting the loss. I could not accept the fact that he no longer was around us. I missed him so much. My three sisters also grieved, as our father was a loving and caring man. We took care of him at home while he was sick since my mom was a nurse and we did not want him in the hospital. Often, I would spend time with him rubbing lotion on his bed- sores and helping him eat. I always felt guilty when I was playing because I felt I should be upstairs with my dad taking care of him. My room was next to his so I could hear him moan of pain all during the night. I do not think my mom or I every slept because we were always at his side. I would pray novenas until I fell asleep in hope that when I awoke he would be cured. No one seemed to listen.

    I was beginning to think about sex as a teenager. I became curious about girls and what they would look like nude. My friends showed me pictures of them nude and this got me really excited. I soon would fantasize about them in my bed with my father’s moaning in the background. I began to masturbate because it felt good and it allowed me to escape my sad reality. Being raised catholic I believed I was sinning and thought God was going to take away my dad. My dad died two weeks before Christmas, the morning after I masturbated.

    I did not want to go to the healing services, but my mother thought it would help me. She thought it would help me get over my father’s death. I was scared to tell her the truth. How I was scared of him and the way he looked at me. I did not want him to touch me this time. I hated how he smelled-his cologne made me sick. “Why must I go, if I stop seeing him will I grow up abnormal”? Why can I not be like the other boys? Why can I not have my Dad back? I miss him taking me to his work. Does he do this to other boys? Is this how love is supposed to be? How can I escape? If my dad were with me, he would beat the Beast up with his strong carpenter hands.

    I decided to go and walked the path of uncertainty. I will walk in late and sit in the back hoping he will not notice. He immediately spotted me. He interrupted the service and called out my name, and I thought now I am trapped by his malicious eye. I embarrassingly walk up to him, while the congregation gazed at me. He announced me to the congregation as his “little helper”. While everyone applauded, he gave me my prescription of hugs and a kiss on my cheek.

    I became his third alter boy by default. His power over me was frightening and hypnotic, and I was at his beckon call. He actually made me pray over people as they knelt down before me and insist that I give out communion-I was only thirteen. I did not want the service to end because I feared what would transpire after his grand performance on stage. With his bloodcurdling eyes, he watched my every move and gave me a smile when I glanced at him. At the sign of peace while whispering, he would come over to me and hug me “You’re my special young man” After the mass he would wait until everyone left and would walk outside with me.

    The church was empty and alone. I found myself trapped by the Beast. He would paralyze me with his words, making it difficult to leave. He insisted that he accompany me outside despite my assuring him that I would be fine. He stated, “I would not want my prized possession getting harmed”. As I walked out with him, I looked up into the sky and noticed the moon and stars. I wanted so badly to have my father come down from the heavens and take this man away and to grab him only to drop him into the middle of the sea. I wanted a set of wings so I could fly to heaven and be with my dad who left my family and me. I wanted to hold hands with my dad in a forest, listening to the soft sounds of nature. I wanted to be anywhere but where I was.

    As we walked outside the night winds arrived once again transforming the priest into a fiend. His heartbeat would race and blood would rush as if he were a vampire on hunt, thirsty for fresh blood. He was hungry. Behold in front of him was his feast. It was as if he turned into an adolescent himself, where his entire body yearns to explore another’s sexual being. He had no boundaries. He concealed his vows in a locked drawer in his heart where no one would break his secret. At times, he would fret at the thought of being caught however; his ego prevented him from stopping his ravenous hunt. He would sweat profusely knowing what he was doing was wrong. He would find himself losing control because the lure was too strong. He would lean against me on his car and mark me with kisses. I felt his body press upon mine. I felt the stiffness in his pants. My body was one with the car. I could hear his breathing become more intense. His breath smelt like wine. I stood frozen and succumbed to this Beast’s desires. He began to lick my neck as if I was sugar -coated lollypop and he said, “You’re so yummy”. He kissed me and asked if he could bring me to his castle. I was trembling and said, “not tonight”. I did not want to disrespect him but I was afraid of the cage. He would whisper in my ear, “I will love you even more tomorrow”. Tomorrow came and in his castle, he would again lock his vows in his drawer and begin the ritual of sexual experimentation. I stood lifeless while he feasted upon my body.

    He was a hungry Beast that fed on my innocence. He enjoyed watching me as I developed into a young man. He would fondle my private parts and steal from my virtue. He would wash me after racquetball while smiling, ignoring my tears. He protected his prey by isolating them from others. He trusted no body with me so he kept me captive in his cage. I was his special boy. I was left hungry for fatherly affection after my father died, so he kept me in a cage and fed me with kind words and praises. He promised me the moon if I would be his only one. He chased away anyone who threatened our bond in fear that he would lose me. He alone held the key to the cage.

    I often tried to escape but feared the consequences. He was a monster with potent power that could destroy anything he touched. He had fangs that would draw the blood from my heart and drain my soul. He also had a large group of allies who would certainly spot me and bring me back to his majesty. They knew nothing about what lied inside of the castle or him. His paws scared me. I would shiver when he explored my body with them. I would freeze and fly away somewhere peaceful in the sky over the ocean as he explored my body. He would whisper in my ear that he loved me and that I needed a man’s love to grow up normal. Telling me it was normal and o.k. The Beast would lie on top of me. I thought to myself that this was all part of the healing process and abided by his wishes. When I cried he would say, “Trust me this is why you need more of this. You need a man’s love since your father left you”

    Sometimes I tried to break away but his control over me was too strong. His breath stunk with lies. His muscles gleamed with self-righteousness. His sweat was filled with a stench of treachery. He would smother me with kisses as if he was preparing a sacrificial rite of passage. I would freeze and allow it to happen giving up the essence of my heart and soul. As I said before, he was the hungry Beast, and I was his fare. After his feeding, when he was sated, he would bring me to the cage and lock me in for protection. I was wary of his feedings of me. Confused, I would stand on my perch and think, “is it my fault? Am I the one that is making him hungry? I feel dirty. No one must find out about this.” He would walk away leaving me with memories of my day with the Beast. I always feared for tomorrow. I was no longer a child he took that way from me. He murdered my childhood. Not a day went by when I did not fear his presence over me. Sometimes I would hide under my covers and dream of a world outside the cage, without the Beast.

    He would call me at home and invite me for dinner. My mom would be adamant that I go insisting it would be disrespectful to decline an invitation from a priest. He picked me up in his new car. The car smelled like him. It sent shivers down my spine. He asked how his special boy was doing this evening as he placed his hand on my leg and I murmured fine. His hand worked itself to my crotch never leaving it until we exited the car. I stared out the window watching all the people walking around free from the hands of the Beast. I wanted so badly to open the window and scream out loud “help me; please get me out of here. A hungry Beast is trapping me and I’m so afraid”.

    He took me to a Chinese restaurant right next to the rectory and we ordered our meal. After our dinner, he said the housekeeper made something special for us so we should leave before the other priests devour it. I knew then that I was in trouble. We enter the empty rectory and he turned to me and gave me one of his hugs. I held my breath and thought again of my dad and said “someone, please take me away”. He then took me into the kitchen and opened up the refrigerator. He pulled out a homemade pie and served me a piece. I ate fast so I could exit quickly; however, the Beast had another agenda in mind. He felt the need to be prayed upon so he wanted to pray with me in his room. We enter the room and I could not help to feel the loneliness around me. There was just a bed, desk and chair and a cross that hung above the bed. He had a few pictures on his desks, mostly of his family. He knew I was inspecting the room and said “it is sure not the New York Hilton”.

    He then hugged me and told me how special I was. After the hug, he went to the drawer, pulled out a magazine and gave it to me. When I looked at it, I noticed it was all naked men and boys. He asked me, do you like what you see. I replied, “I don’t know” He then took the magazine and started to look through it while rubbing his crotch. He lowered his pants and briefs and began stroking himself until he climaxed. During this time, I had my eyes closed wishing he would vanish. When he was done, he took a tissue to clean himself then knelt down on his knees and asked me to place his hands on his heads and to give him a blessing of forgiveness. I began to pray as I followed his directions but then felt his hand on my pants rubbing around my crotch. He then began to unzip my pants and my pants fell down to my knees. His began to rub his head against my underwear and I began to get excited. I felt horrible. How could this be? How could such a monster make me feel this way? Soon he took off my underwear and placed my penis in his mouth. It was then that I knew he owned me. Pray time was over. God was angry. Hell’s doors were open. My Dad abandoned me. Where was St Michael the defender and guardian of evil? I felt alone in this world and uncertain about tomorrow.

    He drove me home and I went right to my room. I lied in my bed and began to cry. I began to think that my world was collapsing. I committed a sin and God would now punish me. He will now take away my mother. After my last tear I enter my mother’s room and as she slept I touched her and said to her do not leave me-never. I wanted to awake her and tell her about the Beast but I was too afraid. I went back to bed praying that in my sleep he would not appear. I wept until I fell asleep. I dreamt that I was a butterfly in someone’s garden feasting on beautiful flowers while the sun’s warmth nourished my being.

    The Beast shared with me that he enjoyed immensely spending time on the beach sunbathing and swimming. He would pick a beach where no one was familiar with him and place his chair for the “viewing” during peak season. He would spend hours watching the young teen’s water surfing, walking on the beach, playing Frisbee, and frolicking in the water. He would fantasize about them in a sexual way making it difficult to concentrate on anything else. He would always bring a religious type book with him but would never get very far with it. His pure purpose was to get what he called a “beach high” with the boys who visited the sands. When he went into the water he always made it a point to purposely swim near a gang of teens and have a wave knock him into their tangling bodies. He would be on guard for any suits that might have slipped down by the wave’s force. On rare occasions he would strike up a conversation with the boys to find out what school they went to or where they were from but just looking was glorious enough.

    My little sister awakened me informing me that I had a call. I picked up the phone and he invited me to his shore house because it was a beautiful day. I could not say no, I could not break his spell. It would be a sleep over so he told me to bring a pillow. I wanted to run away, somewhere safe. Crushed by a cloud and no longer exist I wanted the sky to fall. He would be here in an hour and I would be captive once again. I began to panic because I never spent a night with him and was not sure what would happen. I was scared because it would be just him and I. Before packing I went under my covers and began to cry and say “Why I God, what have I done wrong to deserve this, please make him go away-go away forever.” There were no clouds in sight.

    On the ride down the shore he informed me how special I was because I was filled with the Holy Spirit and that not many young boys have this blessing at an early age. I sat there wondering what he meant by what he said but did not ask. He told me that he has brought many young boys down to this house but none as special as me. I asked him why he thought I was so special and he replied that some people are given special gifts of magnetism and I was one of them. He said that I could appeal to anyone and that with my personality I accepted everybody no matter what the flaw in their nature. He told me that I was a special gift from God. I just thought it was who I was as a person and it was no big deal to fuss about.

    He showed me to my room and asked if I wanted to take a run while he followed me with his bike. I would have done anything to get out of the shore house. He looked at me as I put on my swimming trunks and tee shirt. “You sure have a beautiful body,” he said. “How about a hug before we go outside” I stood there and gave in to his command. I ran four miles and thought to runaway from him but he was the one with the bike. We instead returned to his house and he told me to come close to him. He grabbed me and began to kiss me and lick the sweat off my body. I felt like food to a starving person. “I love the taste of your sweat, it tastes so good” he said. He then held my hand and led me to the showers. He slowly undressed me; undressed him-self and then we entered the shower together. I was so modest that I had my hands covering my private parts. I was looking down and he noticed I was trembling and stated “Relax, let me do all the work”. He took the washcloth and began to bath me. As he approached my private parts, I began to get excited and he knew what would happen next. I felt like a pig. I felt dirty again. I began to cry silently and said to myself “why is this happening to me”. Is this because I have had dirty thoughts about sex when I am in bed alone? If I do not stop having these dirty thoughts will God take my mom away as he did with my dad?

    It was 11pm and I told him I was tired and that I wanted to go to bed. He asked for a good night kiss and I did what he demanded. I went to my room and shut the door hoping like Dorothy in the Wizard of OZ I would awaken in my own bed at home. However, at night I was awoken and saw a figure at the door. It was the Beast. I asked what he was doing and he replied, “I enjoy watching you sleep. You sleep like a little angel. My angel. Go back to bed. You’re safe with me”

    I did not sleep the entire night knowing the Beast was next door. I just wanted to be home with my family. I feared what the agenda would be for tomorrow. “Should I escape tonight”? I got out of my bed and opened the window and sneaked out. I sat on the wet grass and looked up at the stars and wander which one of them was my father. I prayed that someone would take this Beast away since I was too weak to do it myself. It was a peaceful night outside yet inside my being there was torment and havoc. I went back into the room sat on my bed and cried until I finally fell asleep. It was five in the morning.

    “I want to smother my little angel with gifts,” said the Beast while he lied in his bed. “I’m so lucky to have him. He is all mine!” The Beast found it difficult sleeping knowing that in the next room was the “love of his life”. He knew his plan of captivity would work on such a vulnerable boy. They are the easiest prey. However, Michael was different then the rest and he could not explain why. He often pondered on the reasons but could not come up with any solid conclusions. Michael made him feel complete and was the drug that made him high.

    He never admitted to himself that he was gay, why should he-he was a priest. Deep down he knew he was attracted to the same sex and more so young boys. He went to therapy to try to figure things out but he was to above them, he had a degree in psychology and thought he had all the answers. He began to think about lying next to him in bed and then began to stroke himself. Michael made him feel good even when a wall separated them. “Good night my sweet angel and sweet dreams of me”.

    That morning the Beast woke up after a brief and restless sleep. He dreamt that he lost his Michael in the forest. He got out of bed to check on his little angel and found him missing. He began to panic and began to run around the house like a mad man. He noticed when he got to the kitchen that on the kitchen mat his sneakers were missing so he was relieved that he went for a run. He began to make breakfast when Michael walked in with tears. The Beast ran over to him and asked what happened. Michael said, “I m so confused, afraid and lonely”. These were comforting words for the priest as they gave him ammunition for more control over the boy. He responded in a very unsympathetic way “all boys your age go through this, it’s only natural, a stage you are experiencing. Just know you have me to come to at any time. I will always take care of you. You’ll never have a worry in the world if you are with me”. The priest wiped the tears off the boy’s cheeks and placed the tissue in his pocket. He fed his captive pancakes and watched him eat as if he was watching one of the greatest wonders of the world. He asked me if I felt better and I said “yes”. He asked me how I slept and I told him fine, and then he asked me “did you think or dream about me”. I just told him I was too tired to think about anything and just fell right to sleep.

    It was time for showers and he suggested we shower together but I told him I rather shower alone. I had an eerie feeling someone was watching me when I was in the bathroom. As I looked around, I notice the Beast was at the window looking in. I did not know what to do but to pretend to he was not there. I just said to myself “what a perverted and sick man”.

    He wanted to perform the sacrament of penance on me before we left to go home. I felt awkward doing this so we set up two chairs facing opposite directions. I began to say “Bless me father for I had sinned my last confession was last month and these are the sins I have committed”. I mentioned I fought with my sister, yelled at my mom, fantasized about girl’s nude, masturbated and did bad things with you. There was a long pause and then he said “for your penance you are to walk on the beach with me, marvel at the wonders of god’s great creation and ask God’s forgiveness for these sins”. He also said it is unhealthy to look at those “girly” magazines because they will lead you to sin.

    He spoke about what I mention about us during confession as we walked on the beach. He said that what we were doing was normal for two people who love each other, it was a sign of affection and that it was not a sin because it was not harming anyone. My fourteenth Birthday was in one week.

    We collected shells for his collection and placed them a plastic bag. I was wishing to be wash away from his captivity as the footprints wash away by the ocean. Instead, he wanted to go swimming. We both jumped in and began to swim. He grabbed me by my suit and began to feel my private parts while we were swimming then he began to hug and kiss me like we were two young lovers. I tired to resist but he was much stronger then I. I felt like a fish that was hook by an old and wrinkled fisherman.

    On our way, home he mentioned to me the possibility of joining the House of Prayers, a place where prayer and meditation is its main-focus. He took me there that evening and I knew right then I would not want to live there. No TV, radio’s and everything around me were of some religious ambiance. I met the people who lived there and they all appeared to be on major tranquilizers. The conversation was base purely on the spiritual world and a discussion of the secular world seemed to have been forbidden. We ate food so bland that it left you mouth tasting like glue. People around me look like they were on major doses of Thorazine. I met the boys my age and they seemed to want to impress me with there citing scripture. I never drank before but this would have been a good time to start. I was kiss when we left, hugged and God blessed by so many people that I thought I was the Pope or Oprah.

    Once in the car he asked me how I liked it and I told him “it wasn’t for me and that I rather live at home” He was somewhat angered by my response and replied “Once out of high School you’ll need to live somewhere and you don’t want to get involved with the wrong group. This group will protect you and keep you close to God and me” During the rest of the ride not much was said.

    The next day he called to apologize for being abrupt and distant. He wanted to go to his Healing Center to be prayed upon for forgiveness. I tried hard to think of excuses but every time he had a solution. I took the bus up the avenue to the center and arrived on time. Sister Mary who seemed sweet greeted me but I thought how many young men has she seen go through these doors. Was I the only one he loved? The Beast opened the door and instructed the nun that there would be no interruptions. Was she the gatekeeper? As we entered the door, he locked it and gave me his special hug. Soft music was playing and incense and candles were burning. He took me to the couch and lied on top of me. I could hardly breathe. I kept my eyes closed and wandered off somewhere beyond the heavens. He knelt before me when the act was completed and asked me to place my hands on his head to pray for his forgiveness.

    Boy Priest
    I wanted to leave but he insisted I go with him to the nursing home to visit his mother. When we walked in the residents all gathered around us as if we were celebrities. He introduced me to his mom and we spent time with a few other “special” residents. His Mom was happy to see him but he seemed uncomfortable around her as he paced around her room. He seemed to think that she could read his mind and knew of his passion for young boys. If she found out that her son has sex with young boys, she would die since she was a very religious woman. She would actually comment to him after watching the news on this topic how sick these priests are to do what they do to such innocent boys. The Beast would just sit there and wander off into a state of unawareness as if he knew nothing of the sort

    His father died when he was seven and she felt sorry not having a father figure around for him. However, she was a strong woman and did everything your average father would do. Once he came home from school and he saw her on the porch black tarring the roof. She painted, cut the lawn, fixed broken items in the home but she did not show the Beast much affection or emotion. She hardened as a stone in order to maintain control of her and him once his father died. They knew they loved each other but they just could not show it. As he got older, she wandered deep inside if he might be gay since he never dated and once she found a magazine under his mattress with all nude men on it. She dare confront him on it so she went around doing what she does best cook, clean, and be a quasi father figure for her son.

    She would often tell stories of her only child when she was around other people. He was a loner and loved to read. A matter a fact he had no friends. He much rather read books and oil paint. Because of his fascination with the painting and the architect of its structures, he loved going to church. Sometimes he would sit there for hours just staring and enjoying the solitude around him. He loved looking at the nude male bodies of the statues that were around the church. Often he would get a feeling of excitement just looking at them. He would attend daily mass with her and sometimes serve as an alter boy. He loved when Father Joe said mass because he was young and they always had fun together. The Beast was his mom’s surrogate husband. They would visit the cemetery every Sunday and lay flowers on the grave of their husband/dad.

    Shame, guilt, keep cover, avoidance, camouflage, denial, easy access to young men, penance, social pressure and security were all reasons why the Beast joined the priesthood. They all had contributed to his decision to join and become a priest although some might contradict others. His mother was proud that her son was a priest. He would think of how it would break her heart whenever he thought about leaving the priesthood. Moreover, he was getting to old now. If he would leave it would be after she dies. Leaving the priesthood would also mean living independently and that is something the Beast never had to do. He knew he would find it difficult managing his life on his own because he was always taken good care of inside the priesthood. Who would cook his meals; clean his surroundings, wash his clothes, and pay his bills? He knew he was living in a very sheltered life and it would be a challenge to face the realities of self-reliant living.

    His mother would boast to the other residents how her son had met the Pope and how he had special healing powers. She would tell the story about how her son use to play with Barbie and Ken dolls and pull their legs off and then say a pray and put them back on and say “see mom I can do miracles just like Jesus”. This was a story the Beast was embarrassed about but could not stop her from telling others. “If he can perform miracles; make me beautiful again, get me out of here or at least make the god damn food here edible” once an old lady yelled out.

    He explained to me that these “special” residents have no living relatives when we left and he would be first on line for their inheritance. He said, “There are always secondary gains of being a man of the cloth. You should give it a try” one day. Once in the car, he told me that the car that we were in was one that was willed to him by a nursing home patient. He said “but usually they leave me money, which I prefer over material objects”. I thought to myself how greedy he was and how bogus of a human being. What a sham it was for him taking advantage of the elderly. He was the finest con artist on earth.

    Every summer he was summons by his mother to summer camp for a week planned by the Jesuits. He hated camp and would always isolate himself from the other boys. He saw himself as different then the others so he wanted nothing of them. He would count the minutes until the end of the week starting the moment he arrived. He was introduced one summer to his counselor Timmy who took a liking to him and would be extra nice to him.

    Timmy was studying to be a Jesuit and being a counselor was part of his schooling. One night Timmy approached the Beast and asked him if he wanted to see a magazine he had found with nude pictures. The young Beast said hesitantly said yes, as they left the cabin into the woods and Timmy pulled out the magazine. He gave it to him and said “go ahead and look at it I have seen them one hundred times” he opened the magazine and before his eyes he saw beautiful men with no clothes on. He got so excited he thought he was going to pass out. When he looked at Timmy, he saw him stroking himself so he decided to do the same. They walked back to the cabin and both had a good night’s rest. This made camp bearable.

    Opened Cage
    I was invited to be the Beast’s racquetball partner. I did not like the game, nor was I good at playing it, but again I was under his spell and could not say no. After these games, The Beast would insist that we shower together. I wanted to shower at home because I was a modest and insecure teenager. In the shower, while washing him and me the Beast would always stare at me making lewd comments. All I could do was to stand, frozen. Afterwards, the Beast would ask me again to place my hands on his head and pray for his forgiveness. I often felt shame and guilt after these showers and said so to the Beast. In reply to this, the Beast once wrote to me stating “…you’re much too hard on yourself; you should be much harder on me.”

    I slowly began to hate his hugs and touching immensely and tried to back away, but this proved difficult for a child raised to always obey and respect priests. I also believed he really loved me. Moreover, the Beast was very charismatic. He supposedly healed people, and was loved by many. His status nationwide made me question why I feared his closeness and affections while others would consider his touches a blessing and a privilege. I felt ungrateful for his love. At this time, I thought that if I confronted his actions, admitted to others or to myself that his behavior was wrong or motivated by a selfish sexual desire, it would mean that our relationship was base on a lie, and the declarations from him of love, friendship and support were meaningless. I could not accept another loss of a relationship that despite its disturbing and abusive aspects had meant so much to me at the time of my father’s death.

    During my first year of college, when The Beast learned that I had started to date and have sexual relations with a girl, he became very angry-he was jealous. He told me I was being sinful and that I should leave her and come to live in their House of Prayer to avoid these temptations. Fortunately, my girlfriend and psychologist helped me realize how much control this priest had on me and for the first time I began to see things from another perspective. I soon fell into a deep depression and hospitalized for major depression with suicidal ideation. After my hospitalization, I attended group therapy. I realized I needed to confront the Beast with group support

    One night after meeting with group, I drove to his castle and greeted by the housekeeper. It was around 10 pm. I asked for the Beast, and she said he was in his room asleep, I told her it was an emergency and she reluctantly called him. I began screaming at him when I saw him. He told the housekeeper to leave and brought me to an adjacent room. I asked him if he had sexually abused me, and he repeatedly said “no”, then said, “I went too far because I fell in love with you.” I asked him if he was gay, and he repeatedly said “no”, and then said,” I might be, I’m not sure, I’m confused.” He told me someone in the church was counseling him and that he was seeing a private therapist. He apologized for what he did over the years and admitted that he was “out of control and crossed boundaries” and stated that he still loved me, I replied, “What you did to me was not love-you took advantage of me.”

    I still had a lot of anger toward the Beast for what he did to me emotionally and physically despite his apologies. I remained depressed, was in great debt because of outstanding psychologist bills, hospital expenses and college tuition. My co-worker and closest friend advised that I needed to bring closure to what happened between the Beast and me. She explained that it was not helpful to be angry toward the church for the actions of one of its priest. She suggested I speak with another priest. My psychologist at the time happened to know of a priest in her parish that was sensitive to issues similar to mine. She said “the church at least owes you this much”. I was anxious at first because of my experiences with the Beast but she assured me that I would be safe with him.

    I decided to meet with him. After speaking with him, he echoed what everyone else said about the wrongdoings of the Beast but he also gave me some hope. I was surprised when he advised me to report the Beast to Church authorities. He told me “I needed to forgive both myself and the priest and that it might be helpful to talk with the Beast again now that some years had passed”. Taking this advice, I found out where the Beast’s office was, called, and asked to see him. I explained that I was ready to forgive him, and he agreed to meet me.

    I met with him and told him I forgave him. He appeared cold and distant and simply said “I’m glad”. He asked me how I was doing and I told him that I was working for the government on a Federal funded AIDS prevention project, I was in a solid relationship for several years and I was thinking about going back to church. He asked me if I was married since he saw a wedding ring and I said no but I was living with my partner. He then asked if I was having sex with this person and I replied yes and we that were very happy and my family and friends loved and accepted us. He got out of his chair, went into the other office and came back with a book. He asked again if I was living and having sex outside of marriage and I replied I was. He then gave me book on sexual addictions and suggested I read it and perhaps think about attending a sex