At age five, 1954, "the Bishop" (Chicago's Cardinal Stritch) stood over me and said, I had to "stop babbling" about what the priest did to me. It took me 40 years to talk about it again. Today, I babble.

Moving to City of Angels 8

In 2010, City of Angels will move to its next step: "Action" at City of Angels 8 We are on hiatus until January 15th.

Shop City of Angels

The City of Angels is Everywhere...
Also by Kay Ebeling: Read Sunset Boulevard, work in progress at City of Angels 2
This site is copyrighted by my statement. Kay Ebeling

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Why stop at Polanski? Extradite Cardinals Law & Levada as well; plus Capozzi play reading December 11th in New York

By Kay Ebeling

"First indict Cardinal Roger Mahony for aiding and abetting about a hundred pedophiles in Central and Southern California." (Comment posted on a Hollywood Reporter story saying Roman Polanski may voluntarily be extradited.)

Note the cool graphic above the headline here at City of Angels announcing a performance of “For Pete’s Sake” in New York, as a benefit for Road to Recovery. Reading of the one-act play will be December 11th, 8PM in Manhattan at 2 West 64th Street, the NY Society for Ethical Culture ceremonial hall. Wow. Tickets are $15 and the show is a fundraiser for Road to Recovery, the East Coast nonprofit that provides direct support to survivors of pedophile priest sex crimes.

Somewhere in New Jersey there are likely more victims of Monsignor Pete Cheplic, namesake of "For Pete's Sake." Playwright Joe Capozzi talked to City of Angels recently: “I hear from people,” Capozzi said. “I know he’s had guys suddenly pull out of his life, guys he was close to all of a sudden once they get married, they cut him out, for whatever reason. I know he had relationships with a bunch of other guys. Was it the same with them, I don't know, unless they want to come out and say. They were the same age range, they would also go drinking with Cheplic and to dinner.”

Announcing the upcoming reading, Joey wrote: "For Pete's Sake" is a story of a young man who chose to keep a secret without realizing how it would affect the rest of his life. Twenty years later he's getting divorced, quit his job and is finally forced to deal with the truth about his life long relationship with his Priest. Dealing with the church, the press and his family was only the beginning. Being honest with himself would be his greatest challenge. "For Pete's Sake" is an honest and humorous look at his journey

City of Angels wrote about "For Pete's Sake" in the October 9th post.

Writing on the Web about Roman Polanski

At work I'm transcribing interviews regarding the film The Ghost, which will be released in 2010 if Roman Polanski is able to complete production from a Swiss prison. Often when I'm doing my TV job, I end up hearing something I need to hear for the project of writing these blogs.

Today’s job - well shoot, I'm not allowed to reveal anything from what I transcribe for TV shows while they are in production. But I can say that in one of the interviews I worked on, a cast member of The Ghost made a remark which I'm paraphrasing here:

"If your life depends on something, you make sure you are good enough, even if it’s something at which you're not natural." She said, "It’s amazing what skills you can acquire when it’s life or death.”

She's talking about the character she plays, but that quote stunned me today and lit my fire.

After the Illinois Supreme Court decision early last October, it seems people born before 1964 in Illinois are SOL as to the SOL, as far as civil lawsuits regarding pedophile priests in that one state.

So now that I know I'm probably not going to get a settlement from the Chicago Archdiocese, my life depends on doing something else to pull myself up, I mean poor people die young, so I’ve got to do something fast.

It is life or death, my life depends on it.

At City of Angels 2 I'm developing something.

Like the woman in the quote: I can’t be held back by the fact I don't know what I'm doing, my life depends on this, I have to create something that pulls me up,

So, stay tuned to City of Angels 2.

I hope 'Sunset Boulevard' will grow into an online book, or some new thing that because it's online, it has not really been invented yet, but it is sort of a living book.

I don't know what the end result will be but I'm posting it there, posting it every day

Like dailies.

Some of the scenes will be rewritten, some of the events described may never be referred to again. And as you will see at the top of the page, “This Story is Available for Sale to be made into a major motion picture."


With all the news about Roman Polanski, I recently went on a frenzy, going to every story I could find about the convicted pedophile on the lam, to put in a comment. If anyone wants to try the same project, here is a sample of what I’ve been posting. However, I'm not necessarily toting a party line here, and I'm sure others in the survivor community do not agree with me, here goes:

In the USA, pedophile Catholic priests performed worse crimes than Polanski’s, many with similar MO's - drugs, isolating the child from parents, etc. If the USA really wants to prosecute pedophiles, indict Cardinal Roger Mahony of L.A. Extradite pedophile aiding and abbettors who are now hiding out at the Vatican, such as William Levada and Bernard Law. It's easy to go after Polanski, let's see some real muscle in law enforcement, go after the real source of most of the pedophilia in the USA, the Catholic Church. . .

Another comment on a Hollywood Reporter story saying Polanski may voluntarily be extradited:

First indict Cardinal Roger Mahony for aiding and abetting about a hundred pedophiles in Central and Southern California. Catholic priests preyed on parish families all over the state, and committed sex crimes against hundreds of children, much worse than Roman Polanski. Read City of Angels blog for more...

At another news outlet:

There are about a thousand pedophiles that have not been prosecuted right now in the USA. What these Catholic priests did to kids the last 40 years was 10 times worse than Polanski's crimes, and at least the director has admitted guilt. The priests, many of them serial felons, often live in luxury today and even continue to run schools and parishes.

Polanski's victim does not want him prosecuted or any more news coverage. Many of us priest victims WANT our stories told...

Another one at the Hollywood Reporter:

I posted a true crime story yesterday at City of Angels about two Catholic priests out of the five thousand who got away with serial pedophilia in the US in the last fifty years.

If we really want to extradite pedophiles, there are plenty felons involved with American pedophile crimes hiding at the Vatican or living lives of luxury around the country, with a news media that is afraid to run stories about their criminal activity. Please read city of angels blog for the truth, Roman Polanski's crimes are nothing compared to these guys.

Then at Los Angeles Times:

The news media refuses to run stories about the worst pedophiles ever to operate in America, Yesterday at cityofangels5 . blogspot . com I put up a story about two Catholic priests who operated in Louisiana. There were 5000 pedophile priests preying on parish families in the last 40 years in this country, (see bishopaccountability . org )

If the USA really was concerned about sex crimes against children, law enforcement would stop caving to Catholic Church pressure and prosecute felony bishops, monsignors, etc.

What Roman Polanski did was nothing compared to the epidemic of pedophile Catholic priests.

(Note: The L.A. Times did not post any of the comments I wrote on their site to any of the stories.)


The issue here is rich & powerful people getting away with crime and crime victims not getting justice. What Polanski did is not half as bad as the 5000 Catholic priests who raped children in the USA and the bishops who let them do it. I'm one of the priest victims and what I see here is an imbalance of justice.

If we overlook the epidemic of pedophilia in the Church, we have no credibility prosecuting Polanski.



As recently as this week, the victim has said she does not want Polanski extradited, shw wants the whole story to go away, the media frenzy is making her sick.

Roman Polanski's victim asks court to drop charge against director
October 26, 2009 2:19 pm
The victim of Roman Polanski’s 1977 sex charge has asked an appellate court to drop the charge against the film director, saying the unceasing publicity has disrupted her family, job and health.

Since the director’s arrest last month, Samantha Geimer and her attorney have received close to 500 phone calls from media as far as Germany, Israel and Japan, attorney Lawrence Silver wrote in a statement filed Friday.

Larry King and Oprah have beckoned, and photographers have been camped outside her Hawaii home, trying to take photos or video through holes drilled in their cars and offering gifts to her children in exchange for information, Silver wrote.

“This statement makes one more demand, one more request, one more plea: Leave her alone,” Silver wrote in the filing.


Free Polanski – the woman has spoken!
Times LIVE - ‎Oct 27, 2009‎
The woman raped by Roman Polanski when she was 13 yeard old wants the case against him to be thrown out for the sake of her “mental health”. ...

Polanski victim wants case to go away -- is she right?
Kansas City Star - ‎Oct 27, 2009‎
The teenage girl who accused director Roman Polanski of rape is now a grown woman with a family and a job. And she's officially asking the courts to dismiss ...

From Huffington Post this morning:

From the classical French point of view, the US is criminally puritanical about sex as opposed to France , with its own more "liberal" wink-an-eye espousal of affairs under the sheets. The extent of this prejudice is so great that most popular French papers -- such as "Le Monde" and Liberation -- have chosen to distort the facts when reporting on the case. Liberation described Polanski's crime as an "affaires des moeurs", a banal case of mores, rather than a convicted case of "illegal sex with a minor". Le Monde describes what happened as "Polanski's relations with a young girl," forgetting the word "illegal

Today a crime like Polanski's would receive a much harsher sentence than in 1978. Now, if Polanski returns for sentencing, legally the most he himself could receive is two years.

Read entire story


BACKGROUND on "For Pete's Sake"

Friday, October 9, 2009

New one act play shows passion of going public about crimes of pedophile priest

*By Kay Ebeling

It's yet another case of a Catholic priest insinuating himself on a parish family then raping the children. Survivor Joe Capozzi of New York City is also an artist, so as he went public with his charges against Monsignor Peter Cheplic of New Jersey...


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- Thanks
Kay Ebeling


Phillip Garrido, who held Jaycee Dugard captive for 18 years up in Lake Tahoe, was also a self-described Fundamentalist Christian pastor.

Garrido was passing out flyers shortly before his arrest last summer, to round up people to come hear him give a sermon.

I got to see one of the flyers on a video, again because of my job. The flyers said:

Brand New

The first time anywhere in the world, right here at J&M enterprises.

You can witness what the world believes it’s impossible to produce. Look for date and time in your local newspaper coming soon.


God has allowed me to speak in the tongue of angels in order to provide a wake up call that will in time include the salvation of the entire world.

A demonstration of this ability had already taken place during the month of July.


Ah, that wonderful confusing connection between sex and spirituality that thrives in the backwoods of America.


"For Pete' s Sake"

A play by Joe Capozzi

Staged reading to benefit Road to Recovery

Friday, December 11th at 8pm
NY Society for Ethical Culture
2 West 64th St @ CPW, NYC
Ceremonial Hall, 4th Fl.

Tix: $15

For more information about Road to Recovery go to

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Gauthe forced a gun in my mouth and said what he was going to do. He was at our orphanage for the summer- Louisiana Plaintiff

By Kay Ebeling

Almost forty years after Father Gilbert Gauthe stuck a gun into his mouth and forced him into a violent sex act, Ted Lausche is part of the $5.1 million settlement for twenty-one persons this week in Louisiana, because of abuse at the hands of priests and nuns in and around New Orleans Archdiocese and Lafayette.

The charges from 1971 push the years of reported sex crime activity by renowned pedophile Catholic priest Gilbert Gauthe forward by several years.

"I woke up and Gauthe was doing me in the ass," says Lausche. "I couldn't breathe, because he had the pillow over my head. Then he said he’d kill me if I told."

That night when Ted got back to his Catholic boarding school near New Orleans, he still did try to tell what happened with Gauthe, but before he got the word "gun" out of his mouth, the nun at Madonna Manor was beating the anally injured thirteen-year-old in the face with her fist.

"At the orphanage you live in a world where the only touch you feel is violence,” Lausche said.

Recently, in the weeks before the October 13th settlement, the Catholic Church and its attorneys tried to claim Lausche was not even a student at their orphanage. Defendants finally turned over Lausche's school records with hundreds of pages redacted.

The crime survivor had to fly to New Orleans.

“They called me in so they could apologize,” Lausche said. ”I had to tell my story to a roomful of Catholic representatives.

“At least they didn't try to say it was not an admission of guilt."

City of Angels asked Lausche how his case involves Gilbert Gauthe, whose antics fill the pages of the 1992 book, Lead Us Not Into Temptation by Jason Berry.

"Gauthe was a seminarian who came to the orphanage for the summer," Lausche, a union carpenter in Wisonsin said by phone Thursday morning. "Without doing any kind of background check, they let him go out and play with us kids.

"This guy Gauthe was a kid’s size, he was five foot one, he was really short. I was bigger than him. I was almost six feet tall by that time, in 1971. I would have been about 13.

"They sent him out to supervise us while we were playing soccer and a couple of kids were giving him a hard time. I stepped in so we wouldn't get in trouble and he latched onto me.

Gauthe pulled a 45 pistol out and stuffed it in my mouth and told me anything he wanted to do he was going to do.

"Then one day the nuns said, you're going to go home with him, and he took me and another kid to a big house in Napoleonville. He and his parents lived in the Lafayette dioceses.

"He had a ham radio in his car there which I thought was pretty cool. He drove a Thunderbird, the one from the early 1960s that was a sports car.

"When we left the orphanage it was six o'clock, so by the time we got to the house, it was already dark. Ironically the house was next to a police station. Napoleonville is a real small Louisiana agricultural town along the bayou. Just a strip of road about a quarter mile long, with the original homes.

"He pulled a 45 pistol out and stuffed it in my mouth and told me anything he wanted to do he was going to do.

"We got to the house in Napoleonville and he separated us, put the other boy who was with us and I in different rooms. Then while I was asleep he put the pillow over my head, pulled the shirt over head to hold my arms back. He was restraining me, and then he-

"I woke up and he was f---ing me in the ass, I couldn't breathe, because he had pulled on my shirt pinning my arms with the pillow over my head, then he told me he’d kill me if I told. “

"When I got back to the school, I did try to tell what happened, but it didn't do any good. Gauthe had ripped my asshole apart, I was bleeding, and the nun didn't do anything,

"I told her what happened and without warning, I had no indication, she just slugged me in the face.

"That was her thing,

"She loved beating up on kids, this five foot one 190 pound female.

"I told her Father Gaute had a gun and had threatened me and that's as far as I got."

"She loved beating up on kids, this five foot one 190 pound female.

"Her name was Sister Martin Marie."

City of Angels asked Lausche he had any more interaction with Gauthe after that incident?

"Not with him. I stayed away from him after that.

“Gauthe happened just before I ran away. At those orphanages you were living in a world where the only touch you feel is violence.”

Named as defendants in Lausche’s 2005 lawsuit that settled this week are Catholic Charities, the Roman Catholic Church of the Archdiocese, the Archdiocese of New Orleans, School Sisters of Notre Dame, and Hope Haven-Madonna Manor.

After a five year legal battle, Lausche is part of the settlement announced this week, where $5.1 million is to be shared between 21 adult victims of pedophile from primarily Madonna Manor and Hope Haven orphanages in Louisiana.

"I had to go down there around a month ago. I don't travel well so they had to sedate me, my son had to fly out from California, to be with me," Ted told me from the phone where he lives in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin.

"The Salesians staff were there, people from the archdiocese, 15 or 20 people."

"They tried to tell me I wasn’t even at the orphanage, they had blacked out and withheld over a hundred pages of my personal records."

Lausche said the Archdiocse first tried to claim he was not even a student at the school.

"They tried to tell me I wasn’t even at the orphanage, they had blacked out and withheld over a hundred pages of my personal records."

Now that he's part of the settlement, the money is not the issue for Lausche:

"I want a public apology

"I want a chance to address the community that raised us thanking them for their charity, but also to remind them to hold those who manage your resources accountable so this can never happen again.

"And I want to put up a cell phone number any place where these predator priests are working today unsupervised, so people can call me, if they need to report sex crimes."


Above: Escorted by two sheriff's deputies, convicted pedophile and former priest Gilbert Gauthe walks out of the Lafayette parish jail in downtown Lafayette upon his release in February 2002. (Picture lifted from Boston dot com who lifted it from Times Picayune / Photographer: G. Andrew Boyd)

According to bishopaccountability :

"As of 2008, Gauthe was living near Houston, TX. He was arrested 4/08 because he failed to register as sex offender."

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Peeping in on the Paracletes

Jay Nelson pipes in
Where is the aluminum Mary?

Spies report and it is now confirmed that the enormous aluminum sculpture that towered over the Servants of the Paracletes' church in Jemez Springs, New Mexico, has been removed.

A rendition of the Virgin Mary and the dove, it stood in place of a cross ever since the place was built in the early 60s. Now it's said to be just laying in the dirt in front of the the steeple by the side of the road. Sad. Here's a picture of how it looked a year ago.

Funny thing is that in the last chapter of SONS OF PERDITION, I mention specifically that it still stands, even though the place is no longer their mother church. Gee, I wonder if they also chiseled out the dedication plaque I quote from in the very next paragragh...

It's probably just a co-incidence. Rather like the Archdiocese this spring replacing the stone cross atop the cathedral in Santa Fe. It was discovered to be corroded at the base, and could have fallen and killed someone.

You see, in the card that I sent to Archbishop Sheehan with a copy of my novel THE HARROWING, wherein the bishop nearly gets beaned by a cross falling from the cathedral, I said that not all was fictional. I had once been told that the cross was loose by a rock-climber I knew who claimed he had scaled up to it. And that I hoped he fixed it. Only took them several years to get around to it.

Yep, doubtless pure coincidence. Why to think the Church would be paying attention to little old me would be pure narcissism, wouldn't it?

The fact that they now only publish press releases for events on their calendar AFTERWARDS is doubtless just one of those things, too.

-- Jay Nelson




Seven years of scandals? Try 25
GetReligion (blog) - E.E. Evans - ‎Oct 20, 2009‎
Gilbert Gauthe in a small Louisiana community more than 25 years ago. Read that story (or this article), and you get what was a fresh look at the tragedies ...

Our View-Pedophile priests lose in Supreme Court
Daily 49er - ‎Oct 7, 2009‎
In 1985, Gilbert Gauthe pleaded guilty to 11 counts of molesting boys under 18. In 2002, five Boston priests were accused of pedophilia and the church paid ...



Found at Google October 23 at 7:45 AM

Cityof Angels 5: Hope 2009
Almost forty years after Father Gilbert Gauthe stuck a gun into his mouth and forced ... City of Angels asked Lausche how his case involves Gilbert Gauthe, - Similar -

Abuse Scandal Still Echoes Through Catholic Church : NPR



October 24, 2009:

Priest Shortage Forces Vatican To Hire Temps To Deliver Sacred Rites

MILWAUKEE—In an emergency effort to boost the dwindling number of Roman Catholic priests in the United States, the Vatican contracted with a nationwide staffing firm last week to hire thousands of temporary employees to provide liturgical services and administer holy sacraments in its American churches."The reduced number of active diocesan clergy has forced us to take unprecedented measures to stop parishes from closing," Pope Benedict XVI explained in a decree issued Saturday by the Vatican. "That is why, for the first time in two millennia, we're allowing pretty much anyone who is willing to show up at 9 a.m. and work for slightly more than minimum wage to act as a Vessel of Christ."

According to a statement issued by Manpower Inc., most of the part-time priest applicants are 18- to 26-year-old males with no previous clerical experience. After watching a 35-minute video on the Rite of Ordination and receiving Holy Orders during a brief phone conference, new hires are issued two sets of ecclesiastical vestments and assigned to fill a pastoral vacancy.

Randy Nelson, a recently hired temp priest at St. Joseph's Cathedral in Miami, said he was initially nervous about celebrating mass in front of a large congregation, but soon got the hang of it.

"I was a little intimidated on my first day because I had no idea what I was supposed to do during communion," said Nelson, referring to the transubstantiation of the Holy Eucharist, a miracle he is expected to perform at each mass in order to transform earthly bread and wine into the Most Precious Body and Blood of Christ. "But basically I just have to pour some watered-down cabernet into the gold cup, wave my arms around, say some stuff about God, and give each person in line one of those wafer things."

It's really not all that different from a fast food gig," Nelson added. "Except maybe the uniforms here are a bit more humiliating."
Many temp priests told reporters they were only planning to work for the Church until they could land a more serious job, and that having the name of an archdiocese on their resumé was probably better than nothing.

"This is okay for now. They need somebody to do their grunt work and I need the money," said recent college graduate Justin Willingham, explaining that the vow of celibacy is "kind of a drag" but that he rarely has sex between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. anyway. "Plus, I make a ton in tips. The people here are super generous."

According to parishioners at the Church of the Immaculate Conception in Fayetteville, AR, their recently acquired temp is unfamiliar with many of his priestly duties and frequently takes the Lord's name in vain when he loses his place during Gospel readings.

"These things never happened when Father Tom [Whelan] was here," said Gloria Huston, 67. "In the 45 years that I've been a member of this parish I never once saw a priest sitting on the altar eating McDonald's."

Ben Rosenthal, 23, who is a newcomer to Catholicism, said the most interesting part of his job is administering the Sacrament of Penance, because while sitting in the confessional he hears "all kinds of shit you wouldn't believe."

"My friends were totally cracking up when I told them how Doug Merchant confessed to having impure thoughts about his next-door neighbor's daughter and was almost caught masturbating in the bushes outside her window," Rosenthal said. "I feel like I should probably call the cops on some of these people, but during orientation they told us we would get fired if we broke the Seal of Confession. So I just make them say a lot of Hail Marys."

While a majority of temps said they were happy just to have a job, some, like Greg Purcell, believe the priesthood is simply too demanding.

"There's no way I'm working Sundays," Purcell said. "Not for what they pay."

(Click here to go to ONION)


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Sunday, October 18, 2009

Part 2: Church battles veterans who come off active duty and file lawsuits under SCRA re pedophile Catholic priests

Continued from Part 1 here:

My friend Michael Baumann in Virginia, is a retired Naval officer and an adult victim of pedophile priest who we quoted earlier, saying if he had filed a lawsuit against an archdiocese while he was on active duty, it would have destroyed his career. He elaborated in an email:

I wanted to pass along some thoughts on the impact revealing this great dark secret would have on a military career.

When I came home from the Iraqi Theater of Operations in 2003, I was required to see a psychologist as part of my return to the United States from the war zone.

During this interview, I only revealed enough information to get through the interview being careful not to reveal any information on the abuse I had suffered as a child (at the hands of Father Robert Gibson). The reason for withholding the information was very simple. An active duty military member does not enjoy the same confidentiality with a Military psychologist or psychiatrist that a civilian would expect.

A military mental health official has a responsibility to report to the chain of command any condition that would preclude the member under their care from performing their military duties. Anything that may be a threat to good order and discipline would have consequences, as mild as inability to qualify for assignments, to more extreme consequences that could impact the ability of a service member to hold a clearance, to qualify for a higher clearance, or maintain a position of trust and confidence. In extreme cases you could lose your command, or be removed from a critical position.

It could negatively impact future promotion potential. In a word, being completely honest and open may have dire consequences on your military career.

Medications, if prescribed, would also be made known to a commanding officer. This could lead to some uncomfortable conversations about a private matter which may or may not have an effect on the performance of your military duties.

I would have been horrified at the thought that a very personal matter such as the what happened to me at age 13 was known to some of the commanding officers I served with.

Many military members would seek mental health services outside of the military health care system to avoid the stigma and the potential for being ostracized within the military community. Having the chain of command know you were raped, repeatedly, by a priest could lead to isolation from peers, mistrust by superiors and disdain from subordinates.

Today's warrior ethos in the post 9/11 military does not leave a great deal of room for anyone who may be perceived as "weak".

(Read more from Michael Baumann at his blog Off My Knees)


I may be in the courtroom but...

I'm off again, drifting. That dark room, the smell of brandy, Mahony and Potts sit across from each other. Both men are so much alike - diminutive, just skin drawn across bones, skin that rarely sees sunlight, both men have thinning hair that used to be brown.

Plus they are both so odd shaped, both Mahony and Potts (pictured right) have a kind of oblique imbalance in the size of different parts of them. Mahony’s neck is so long, then this head sort of bobbles there over the rest of his body. Potts is a similar bobble head looking individual, just much shorter than Mahony.
These two brittle men, sitting in a room that grows even darker than the thick curtains had kept it that afternoon, pour more brandy, now laughing at just how audacious they can be in fighting plaintiffs in these cases, plus who’s watching? That little old lady from City of Angels is the only “reporter” there.

Cardinal Mahony and Lee Potts would both laugh at that.

(Photo of Mahony credit to LA Weekly.)


For background read:

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Church to Iraq Vets: Overseas in 2003? Too bad, dismiss the cases, bishops are above Federal law

*By Kay Ebeling

Servicemenbers who were at war during the one-year window that allowed lawsuits against the Catholic Church in 2003 should not be allowed to proceed with lawsuits filed in 2008 regarding child molestation by priests, even though Federal law allows benefits such as delayed lawsuits for active duty personnel, attorneys for the Catholic Church argued in Los Angeles Superior Court Tuesday.Both Cardinal Roger Mahony of Los Angeles and Bishop Robert Brom of San Diego want several civil cases regarding molestation thrown out, because the plaintiffs were overseas serving their country during the one-year window that opened to file civil lawsuits in 2003.

One plaintiff was and still is in Iraq, another adult victim of a peophile priest from Tuesday's hearing was in Guam and other farflung places on active duty during the one-year window in 2003, and did not file his suit until 20 months after leaving the military.

Also article by Pat Noaker quoted below:

The Service member’s Civil Relief Act has recently been used to help a service member get the help he needed. In St. Paul, Minnesota, our law firm handled a case where a 20-year Naval officer was sexually abused as a child by a Roman Catholic priest (See Jeff Strickler, “9 Minnesota clergy abuse cases being settled for $1.7 million,” Star Tribune, February 6, 2009; Emily Gurnon, “Nine men to share $1.7 million from Catholic order that admits sex abuse,” St. Paul Pioneer Press, February 6, 2009).

In this case, the Catholic religious order of The Crosiers Fathers and Brothers attempted to get the abuse lawsuit dismissed claiming the statute of limitations had expired on the Naval officer’s claims. Relying on the Service member’s Civil Relief Act, the Court refused to dismiss the claims because the survivor/Naval officer had been a full-time active service member for 20 years and thus, the statute of limitations did not begin to run until he left full-time military service. Similar applications of the Service member’s Civil Relief Act to sexual abuse lawsuits involving other Catholic clergy is occurring across the country to help service members get the help that they need.

Patrick Noaker, Attorney at Law writing in Veteran Journal February 2009 Noaker is with Anderson Advocates in Minnesota.

The plaintiff in the Crosier case in Minnesota had spent 20 years as a naval officer, and the statue of limitations clock stops running while a person is in the armed forces, meaning that his case was still active. That was the legal wedge Anderson needed.

In Minnesota the SOL stopped while the plaintiff was on active duty, which should set a national precedent regarding the Catholic Church and returning Service Members filing lawsuits because of the epidemic of pedophile Catholic Priests. :


In a case regarding the Service Members Relief Act and Crosier Brother Wendell Mohs:

“The Statute of Limitations is tolled for any time Plaintiff served on active duty by the provisions of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act and its predecessor act, The Soldiers and Sailors Relief Act.

“Plaintiff has a little more than twenty years of active duty between his eighteenth birthday, April 28, 1983, and the date he initiated this suit, April 17, 2006, a period of approximately twenty three years.

"Subtracting the twenty years of active duty from the twenty three years that elapsed from Plaintiff’s 18th birthday to suit initiation results in only three years of the six year statute of limitations have elapsed.

“Under the Servicemembers’ Civil Relief Act, ‘the period of a servicemember’s military service may not be included in computing any period limited by law, regulation, or order for the bringing of any action or proceeding in a court.

"Tolling provisions of SCRA should be liberally construed to protect the rights of persons in the military service.

(Minnesota law, but interesting: The “doctrine of unclean hands.”)

From Minnesota Court order:

Defendant cannot take advantage of the doctrine of laches because of the doctrine of unclean hands.

“The defense of unclean hands is premised on ‘withholding judicial assistance from a party guilty of illegal or unconscionable conduct.’

“While plaintiff maintains Defendant Crosiers’ conduct is unconscionable, they do not present any evidence unconscionable conduct other than Crosiers’ knowledge of questionable behavior by Mohs.

While there has been a delay in the Plaintiff’s assertion of his rights, this delay is protected by the SCRA.

“Here Defendant Mohs has admitted the sexual abuse of Plaintiff, so the substantive issues relate mainly to defendant Crosiers’ liability for Mohs’ actions.

Although there has been a long period of time, at this point there does not appear to be a significant loss of evidence or unavailability of witnesses.

Therefore, because there has not been such an unreasonable delay that it is inequitable to grant the Plaintiff relief, it is in appropriate to dismiss this case based on the doctrine of laches.

Not “excessive entanglement” (again Minnesota law)

“This Court will treat Defendant Crosier like any other organization in our society, applying neutral civil law, and possibly subjecting Defendant to civil liability. There is not excessive entanglement with religion that violates the First Amendment.”

More from Minnesota order:

The delayed discovery statute does apply to Plaintiff’s negligence and vicarious liability claims.

From other documents filed for Plaintiffs by Anderson Advocates in Minnesota:

“The Crosiers try to assert that plaintiff was not on active duty service when he attended an Officer Candidate program for 3 years at Naval Postgraduate School, even though the Navy lists him as on active duty during those periods of time. Attached as evidence was plaintiff’s DD 214 showing his active Duty time of 20 years 3 months and 26 days.”

While we're talking about the Crosiers in Minnesota, here is what the Church in this case knew and ignored:

In 1974 the Order requested that Mohs refrain from alcohol because Mohs had a problem with moderation probably due to underlying problems.

In 1978 the Order raised questions about Mohs’ sexuality and personality.

In approximately 1978 Dan Davidson then head of the Crosier seminary in Onamia, and soon to be head of the Order, noted that Mohs had repeatedly gone over the appropriate boundaries for adults and students and questioned whether Mohs should have any involvement with a teen program Teens Encounter Christ, in which the Crosiers were heavily involved.

In 1979 the Crosiers had a serious discussion with mohs over a card he gave to a minor student.

“In 1971 an evaluation of Mohs in the Crosiers’ files stated that Mohs had ‘some degree of sexual preoccupation.

In 1972 another Crosier noted that Mohs has real problems.

In 1973 another Crosier wrote that Mohs might become the ‘playboy of the order.’”

“In 1974 the Order requested that Mohs refrain from alcohol because Mohs had a problem with moderation probably due to underlying problems.

In 1978 the Order raised questions about Mohs’ sexuality and personality.

In approximately 1978 Dan Davidson then head of the Crosier seminary in Onamia, Minnesota, and soon to be head of the Order, noted that Mohs had repeatedly gone over the appropriate boundaries for adults and students and questioned whether Mohs should have any involvement with a teen program Teens Encounter Christ, in which the Crosiers were heavily involved.

In 1979 the Crosiers had a serious discussion with Mohs over a card he gave to a minor student.

For more about Wendell Mohs go to Bishop Accountability Data Base of Priests and look under M.
For more about Robert Gibson go to same place and click under G or read Off My Knees blog by Michael Baumann.

If you would like to see full PDF documents in these cases email me, as we can’t post PDFs here but I can email them.

(Below Church Attorneys Potts and Roberts talk after 9/09 hearing)

The attorney who defends Catholic pedophile priests in Los Angeles, Donald Steier, does not want me to put his picture up in a post. So we are only going to post pictures of parts of Donald Steier here.

Donald Steier says he's afraid one of his pedophile priest clients' crime victims will come after him.

Steier should know that even though A lot of us survivors do become enraged, the crimes we commit are usually victimless, or the damages inflicted are only on ourselves. You could say the victims absorbed the message of the Church moreso than the perpetrators, or the bishops who pay Steier's legal fees today.

Still to assuage Steier's fears, we are only going to show parts of Donald Steier:

At right Donald Steier's head.

At right, Donald Steier's tie.

Don't forget the PayPal High Five Campaign using the Donate buttons on the left. After each post we pass the hat, that's how it works.

Church battles veterans who come off active duty and file lawsuits under SCRA re pedophile Catholic priests

By Kay Ebeling

“They may as well not have the Soldiers and Sailors Act at all, by your way of thinking,” said Judge Emilie Elias to Attorneys for the Archdioceses in both Los Angeles and San Diego, during a hearing last month in L.A. “You're saying the federal law that protects service members is meaningless?”

Lee Potts appearing for Cardinal Mahony, sputtered, “I'm not, I'm - I'm - uh- well over the years many provisions have been considered, for example, go to the third paragraph down, sub section G. We have this new use of the word computing.”

Military personnel returning from years of war now find themselves battling the Catholic Church when trying to pursue personal justice. The hearing September 22nd in L.A. Superior Court was on demurrers by Bishops in Los Angeles and San Diego against plaintiffs just come off active duty now filing lawsuits against the church for pedophilia. The battle in California today is similar to a fight the Church fought and lost in February of this year in Minnesota.

In many cases, service men and women have been overseas fighting wars since before the Catholic clergy pedophile epidemic burst out in the media across the nation with the Boston cases in 2002. Now those returning vets are taking advantage of a long standing entitlement for active duty personnel: the clock stops ticking on legal matters, and does not start up again until you go off active duty.

There’s good reason for military officers to have this right. Filing a lawsuit against the Catholic Church in the middle of your active duty status would destroy your career. A retired Naval Commander who is also an adult victim of pedophile priest explained to City of Angels:

“I had a top secret clearance, if I’d filed a lawsuit at the time I was on active duty, I would not have been able to do my job.

“If the military perceives any sign of weakness, especially in the officer ranks, any discriminator can knock you out of the running. The military mindset and culture right now is very unforgiving to anybody that seems to be showing any signs of weakness. Filing a lawsuit like this against the Church while on active duty would preclude you from getting the jobs you’d need to continue to move up in rank.”

Still, just when you thought the Catholic Church and its attorneys had been as audacious in the priest molestation cases as human limits would allow, there were two lawyers in court last month, one from San Diego, the other from L.A., fighting returning veterans who are now filing lawsuits based on the 2003 one year window for doing so in California, under the Service Members Relief Act.

You would expect a church to embrace returning veterans in every way possible with enthusiasm. No matter how awful the war, Americans from all over the political spectrum come together and agree that whatever we can do for the veterans, we do with fervor. But then again, when has the Catholic Church responded the way a Church should respond when it comes to reconciling its crimes against parish families? You would expect settle with the vets without even fighting.

Returning veterans want to take part in the same law that allowed close to a thousand lawsuits to be filed in 2003, which then settled over the next years, such as the July 2007 settlement in Los Angeles where 510 persons shared a $660 million settlement.

And the Catholic Church is fighting the returning veterans, in the usual way, with phalanxes of attorneys, mounds of litigious paragraphs of print. In the hearing September 22nd, attorneys for the bishops debated the meaning of words, one at a time. Why does the law use the word “computing”? asked Lee Potts.

In Minnesota the Crosiers Religious Order tried to say the plaintiff's DD214 was incorrect, that time spent in education for the Navy was not active duty. In February 2009 the Crosier cases in Minnesota settled in favor of the plaintiffs.

In L.A. last month, after Potts had babbled a bit, Vince Finaldi (pictured right) on the plaintiffs' side rose and said: “Mr. Potts is addressing the statute of limitations. These are federal laws that are designed to protect service men and women.”

Potts gets back up and continues to recite dictionary definitions for various words in the statutes as a form of litigation at god knows how much per hour billed to the L.A. Archdiocese. As Potts speaks, I find myself composing headlines to go with a story about this hearing.

Mahony to Vets: Screw You.

Mahony Sneers at veterans from Iraq to Afghanistan,

Catholic Church Fights Against Returning American Service Members

Mahony Fights American Soldiers with Battalions of Wiry Bony Attorneys

POTTS: Not only that but there are latches and waivers…

JUDGE: They may as well not have the Soldiers and Sailors Act at all, by your way of thinking. You're saying the federal law that protects service members is meaningless.

POTTS: I'm not, I'm - I'm - uh-

JUDGE: What if every state applied it differently? It would mean the Service Members Act was meaningless.

(I'm thinking, not only does the Catholic Church think they have a right to turn pedophiles loose on whole populations of families and not pay the consequences. Now archdioceses around the country think they have the right to ignore Federal law that was designed to protect American service men and women from being denied the same justice as Americans who don’t join up and go to war. The Church continues to fight bone by bone against the parish member children, now adults, whose lives were damaged by their negligence.)

POTTS: We have the word computing and the statute of limitations.

There’s a woman sitting next to Potts and now she rises, introduces herself as Marie Roberts (pictured right) for the Bishop of San Diego

ROBERTS: I agree with Mr. Potts. The Soldiers and Sailors Act is a jurisdictional issue not a traditional statute. It would not toll, I think it’s an error. How much time do they have once they get out of the military? This one plaintiff got out of the military in July 2006 and waited until April 2008 to file. At one point the court commented but did not issue an order saying they would have one year to file a lawsuit. This filing is 36 years after the abuse, so -

Roberts went on: Number one, he waited too long after getting out of the military, then you can’t file a lawsuit thirty six years later.

JUDGE: Wait a minute, how far back do the oldest cases in the clergy cases go.

(Me, I want to jump up and holler, they went back as far as the 1940s, that's why I'm going so nuts, because if I’d been raped in California, I’d have money in the bank right now, but since I was raped outside Chicago, I'm still damaged with no recompense. The military members are not the only ones crying out for national unity in application of justice in the clergy cases. Since people in California were able to settle, people all over the country should be able to settle because of similar cases. But I'm just one lone blogger babbling. . .)

I'm Also Wondering

Why does Judge Elias have to ask if the clergy cases that settled in July 2007 went as far back as the 1940s?

Several lawyers in the room call out in answer.

Potts says, “the sixties even.”
A plaintiff attorney says, “No farther back.”
I want to scream “They went all the way back to the 1940s.”
Potts says, oh well maybe the early sixties.
Finally one of the plaintiff attorneys gets heard, “They went back as far as the 1940s, your honor.”

Potts tries to get the conversation back on his argument:

POTTS: The plaintiff waited too long, he went too far, you can’t just say I get to start all over again.

And I drift off again, thinking of Potts meeting with Cardinal Mahony later to discuss this hearing:

These two men are so similar in body construction, their brittle boniness, their somewhat disconnected from most other humans quality they both have. As I daydream about the Cardinal and Mr. Potts meeting together, I think I smell expensive brandy.

Then Judge Elias said, “Requests for Judicial Notice should be granted on all of these," meaning she ruled in favor of the Plaintiffs.

As Potts arose again, she stopped him: “Yes, I know it said ‘shall instead of ‘may’ and it say’s ‘in computing.’” She motions with her hand and Potts stops the word from coming out of his mouth, then Judge Elias continues: “And it says ‘a temporary reprieve to service members,’ including an effort to be fair to all parties.”

Potts is bony and hyperactive, his presence brings up memories of a young Anthony Perkins, before American filmgoers adjusted to Perkins’ oddness.

More pours from the mouth of Lee Potts: “Over the years many provisions have been considered, for example, go to the third paragraph down, sub section G”

Potts jabbers on: "Plus it says, shall be excluded. They know how to say shall only when they mean it.

To me, it seems like everyone in the courtroom squirmed as Potts went on, all nine defense and two plaintiff attorneys, plus me and the one reporter from the L.A. Times, just changed position all at the same time. Trying not to project uncivil behavior in civil court.

POTTS: Changing ‘shall’ to ‘may’ means something.

JUDGE: You're comparing apples to oranges.
I wonder how much the archdiocese pays per hour for Potts and the Hennigan firm to do this.

Michael Kinslow for the plaintiffs rises, saying he represents John Roe 67 whose lawsuit is against the San Diego Archdiocese, and “since 1925 this law has been interpreted differently but always for service members.”

Potts: Yes but it now says if you do not take action in a timely manner. Plus ‘in computing’ does not apply to a fixed period of time.

Jibber jabber jibber jabber jibber jabber jibber jabber

POTTS (cont’d) - yeah it’s true Roe 67 is still in the military, but there’s no claim he was unable to know about the 2003 window for filing lawsuits wherever Roe 67 was serving overseas, he should have heard about the 2003 window and gotten his lawsuit filed.

I'm thinking, yeah, even though a couple thousand or so potential plaintiffs didn't hear about the 2003 window when they were living inside the United States, even some living here in California didn't hear about the window in 2002 in order to file in 2003.

Nothing stops a church attorney from litigating, the Church still has the same bottomless briefcase full of cash they were using in 2007 to pay for their never ending defense.

POTTS: As to the clergy cases 2007, there was not one who was permitted 40 years later to use this act as a sword 30 to 40 years later.

(I’m not making this up, I was taking notes he really said that- ke)

KINSLOW: This plaintiff was injured and in a veterans’ hospital.
POTTS: Still you're not taking into account the big picture.
JUDGE: The big picture is that these cases will go on as long as your legal career.
POTTS: The most time they have is one year.
JUDGE: John Roe 65, I’ll look at again. Otherwise the Soldiers and Sailors Act overrules your demurrer on all but John Roe 65. For TH Doe the stay is lifted.

And Judge Emilie Elias surmised as she ended the hearing, "I think we have a very interesting issue in interpreting the soldiers and sailors act."

In court that day were six attorneys for the defense, three for the plaintiffs, plus another guy from defense attorneys’ team sitting in the back.

One reporter from Los Angeles Times showed up took notes and asked questions in interviews outside the courtroom later. However, nothing appeared in the L.A. Times about the hearing. Not that I’ve ever seen…

In an attempt to understand what was going on better, City of Angels tracked down documents and spoke to a couple military officers who are also adult victims of pedophile priests aka survivors.

From plaintiff documents filed by Devin Storey and Michael Kinslow at The Zalkin Law Firm in San Diego:

The Church’s demurrers are, “A thinly veiled attempt to confuse this Court into applying the incorrect standard.”

Defense argues, “That the service member must be subjected to some hardship to pursue his claim as a result of his service.”

The plaintiff in one of the cases being fought by the Church September 22nd in L.A. had “a 47 year career in the military.”

“Plaintiff was born on June 7, 1959. Plaintiff enlisted in the delayed entry program of the United States Navy on November 18, 1976. Plaintiff went active in July of 1977. Plaintiff remained on active duty with the United States Navy until July of 2006.”

More from Plaintiff’s First Amended Complaint:

From 2001 until mid-2004, Plaintiff John Roe 65 was stationed in Guam in connection with his active military service.

By virtue of John Roe 65’s active military service, the statute of limitations on his claim was tolled under the Soldiers and Sailors Civil Relief Act of 1940.
The statute of limitations did not resume running until Plaintiff John Roe 65 left active duty in July of 2006.
Mathematically, Plaintiff could not have been more than 53 days past his eighteenth birthday when he began his active duty with the United States Navy.”
The Defense claims using the SCRA is prejudicial to the Archdioceses.

Aside from the passage of time, Defendant’s only feeble attempt at demonstrating prejudice lies in its contention that “it paid almost $200 million to secure final resolution of ancient claims like the Plaintiffs” here. It did so “in reliance on the Legislature’s assurance that such claims were revived only during calendar year 2003.”


This argument from the two Archdioceses, San Diego and Los Angeles, that they can bypass the Service Members Civil Relief Act displays how Church hierarchy consider themselves above the law. Sometimes you can’t quite pinpoint that arrogance from Church heirarchy, but here it is in their own documents.

They want the court to ignore the rights of American service members in favor of the bank accounts of the Roman Catholic Church.

In documents filed in early September 2009 for the hearing on the 22nd, Plaintiffs argued:

“Congress made a deliberate policy judgment to omit a prejudice requirement from the tolling provision. (cite Conroy)

“Defendants’ analysis regarding legislative history rests upon general statements of individuals, and a press release, regarding the general purpose of the Act in its various forms.

Evidence put forth by the defense to argue against the returning service men and women:

1) Three sentences spoken by the Secretary of War in 1940, when testifying about his views on the 1940 version of the Act.

1) Two sentences spoken on the floor of the House of the United States Representatives by Representative Christopher Smith in which he reports upon the opinions of unidentified others.

3) A single phrase from a press report issued by a House Committee

4) Three sentences uttered by an Acting Assistant Secretary of Defense when testifying about his understanding of prior versions of the Act.

Continued in Part 2 here .

Friday, October 09, 2009

New one act play shows passion of going public about crimes of pedophile priest

By Kay Ebeling

It's yet another case of a Catholic priest insinuating himself on a parish family then raping the children. Survivor Joe Capozzi of New York City is also an artist, so as he went public with his charges against Monsignor Peter Cheplic of New Jersey, Capozzi also burst out his story in a one-act play. The result is "For Pete's Sake" a portrayal of the anguish of Capozzi's first dealing with the crimes, and the obliqueness of being an adult victim of pedophile priests.

Capozzi is an actor-writer building professional credits and living in Manhattan. In "For Pete's Sake" he writes and performs what he went through before going to the media and law enforcement in 2006 to report a Catholic priest's sexual assaults that started in Joe's early adolescence. Capozzi used his art as a way of coming to terms with the serial crimes. Today performances of "For Pete's Sake" raise money for Road to Recovery, a support organization for adult victims of pedophile priests in New Jersey and New York.

Capozzi knew he couldn't just tell one or two people what happened and then let the secret continue to fester inside. So he put the angst and confusion of the experience into a one act play that is moving and dynamic and brings the experience alive.

Joe told me about the play in a recent phone conversation and sent me the script. Below are quotes from that conversation along with, in italics, quotes from the play. In the scene below Joe sees that his friend's son is the next target being groomed by Father Pete, and he has to say or do something:

Pete: He is special.
Joe: I would see-
Voice3: Those hugs
Joe: The gifts, the attention, seeing Pete with Little James is like looking in the mirror.
Voice3: He’ll do it again
Joe: I gotta call him. Oh man, what am I going to say, Hey Father Pete diddled me and I’m worried about your son...?
Voice1: It’s okay
Joe: Umm Pete...
James: What?
Voice2: Oh what the heck.
Joe: Pete’s done things to me
James: What are you talking about?
Joe: Physically, Pete, Pete’s done some things to me, you’re going to be hearing some things soon, he’s sick and I’m worried about Little James
James: What?
Joe: I just want you to know…
James: What things?
Joe: …I can’t…please just keep Little James away from Father Pete.

From phone interview:

The play portrays the battle between these three voices in my head, the good, bad and sensitive unsure child. It takes us through a 20 year period I held the secret. I knew Father Pete since I was seven years old. Look back now it’s of course, you can see the origin - that moment when I first met him, I didn't trust him-

Voice1: Sunday dinners turn into Birthdays, turn into the holidays. Next thing you know-
Joe: Welcome to the family, Father.

I never bought into it, as a kid, I never really did. I was scared of it, I was fearful of the place, because our family didn't always go to church, and the nuns and priests were scary people. When I first met Father Pete, I thought, this guy is scary. Then he pretty much won me over with attention.

In the play I portray a specific moment age 13 14. I yearned to have a mentor in my life, someone who understood me. My parents were great but I was definitely a sensitive kind of emotionally needy kid.

And I loved the arts, I loved talking about politics, I was interested in those things and he was the perfect person to talk to about that stuff. He was interested in theater and arts and music and we would talk about everything. Was he just telling me what I wanted to hear, and that then begins the whole struggle within. He’s telling you you're special, then he starts physically abusing you.

Voice2: Typical story.
Joe: We know that now.
Voice1: But you did keep your distance at first
Joe: As much as I could
Voice1: But he worked you well
Joe: He did, but I don’t think he liked me at first either.
Voice3: That was his plan.
Joe: He would call me…
Pete: You little shit
Joe: Always when mom and pop weren’t around.

I didn't want the play For Pete's Sake to be about abuse, it’s a story about a relationship. And there’s a lot of humor in it, because that's how I dealt with it, and how I survived, was being the joker and with humor, and that's what's in the play.

You can affect people better with laughter, they open up, then you hit them over the head with this drama, no one wants to sit there for an hour and a half feeling miserable. Entertaining people I have a better shot at getting a message out, is my feeling, for people that come to the show.

Joe: I actually started to look forward to seeing him; I wanted him to like me. I had someone I can trust, just like that.
Voice2: You’ve been groomed!
Joe: Now that word. groomed. Sounds like I’m a dog. What do they teach grooming in the seminary, seems like these priests all use the same techniques. They must have a handbook

I had to play dead a lot of times.

Pretend to be passed out tell him I took the Dramamine when I didn't take them, then having to deal with him sneaking up on me in the middle of the night. Me pretending I was passed out and physically trying to cover myself up without letting him know that I was not passed out. ‘’I’ve had a number of years of dealing with that and that's in the play, what a typical night with him would be, passing out, faking being passed out, then dealing with him in the night coming to check on me.

Then I’d leave and be telling myself, ‘you are such a scumbag.’ And then he gives you gifts and this turns into a self hatred, disgust with yourself, you feel like people can see it and smell it on you.

Mom: Father Pete is planning a trip to Australia and he offered to take you as well. It would be a gift, would that be something you’d like to do?
Voice1: No!
Joe: Australia wow, that’s far away, cool.
Pete: Here we go, are you ready for another!
Joe: Sure, I need to get used to drinking like this for college
Joe: Enough! Never got to see where Crocodile Dundee lived. I hated that trip. I still feel
like that 18 year old, and not in a good “hey I’m so cool for my age” way. I started to
look at things very differently. The world got darker.
Time to go to college. Pack up, me and my little secret.
Pete: So did you jerk off today?
Voice3: Oh crap here it comes


(City of Angels: Like many adult victims - and this is a story I’ve heard several times in the last three years of interviewing the crime victims Joey asked the perpetrator priest to officiate at his wedding.

His Perpetrator Performed His Wedding?

Joe explained:)

It’s this priest that you're friends with, he’s close with your family, he’s married your brother, your cousins. When it’s time for me to get married, I have to do it in a Catholic church, marry a Catholic girl…

Then the guilt I feel towards my ex wife and putting her through that, in terms of my relationship with him. There’s a scene in the play after a dinner, me and my wife are talking and she says to me, was it just me or was he being a little bitchy to me tonight.

Ex-wife: Is it me or was Pete being kind of, I don’t know, bitchy to me tonight?
Joe: No..
Ex-wife: …at times he tries to get me to look dumb, makes fun of me a little too much
Joe: He’s joking around.
Ex-wife: It makes me uncomfortable…and it’s not the first time
Joe: He’s goofing with you, c’mon. I don’t know…he was just tired, really tired tonight.
Ex-wife: It’s like he’s jealous…
Joe: Of what?
Ex-wife: So you didn’t see any of that? It’s my imagination…

Because what Pete would do was he was jealous, and I could see before my eyes, he would do his best to make her uncomfortable especially when he started drinking.

In my mind I had an exit strategy how to get him out of my life. Once I got married and that obligation was done, I would distance myself. But the problem is he’s still friends with the family. He’s still there.

Ex-wife: I’ve been talking to my therapist…
Joe: What? Your shrink? About me
Ex-wife: Well for myself but of course I talk about you, us and she says that you are emotionally unavailable
Joe: Oh so a shrink can tell you what’s wrong with me, without meeting me, talking to me? So you spend the time talking about me, you should worry about yourself, emotionally unavailable, I mean what the hell does that mean?
Ex-wife: It means that you are so caught up in yourself that emotionally you cannot bethere for someone, like me
Joe: See I think I am emotionally available, because right now emotionally I’m pissed and it’s available to you.
Voice1: She was right…
Joe: (JOE looks at EX-WIFE) I know…

(City of Angels: There is a scene in the play where he uses the sounds of all the voices talking at once. You can hear it. You can envision it. The words are the kinds of words actors like to wrap themselves around.

In scene below, we see how 'For Pete's Sake' portrays the confusion created by sex crimes of Catholic priests:)

Voice3: Open your eyes he’s trying again, get up you have to go!
Joe: Pete, I gotta go!
Voice3: Just get to your car! Go down the stairs, through the rectory, out the door, get to your car,
Voice1: Pete is following behind, tell him you have to get home!
Joe: I have to get home
Voice2: You let it happen again,
Voice3: Just go, this is embarrassing, Say goodbye but be polite,
Joe: Goodnight Pete, thank you!
Voice2: You can end it here!
Voice1: Stop saying that!
Voice2: Wrapped around a pole in Jersey.
Joe: Just tell one person
Voice2: End it all here and you won’t have to tell anyone!
Voice1: Tell someone
Joe: Who can I tell?
Voice3: Please slow down!
Voice2: Keep the secret
Voice1: Tell someone
Voice3: Slow down!
Voice2: Keep it, keep the secret, keep it, keep the secret
Voice1: Tell someone, tell someone, tell someone
Voice3: Slow down, slow down, slow down
(MOM enters, JOE gets up from chair to greet his MOM)
Joe: Mask on. (beat) Hey mom
Mom: How was your night?
Joe: Good
Mom: How was dinner?
Joe: Good
Mom: How’s Pete?
Joe: Good, good to see him, always fun

The first person I told was my ex-wife. We, our relationship- I was in no position of being in a relationship, I had so much stuff that I had to deal with and I couldn't do that to someone. I couldn't be a supportive person, I couldn't be a partner. Until I dealt with it like I'm doing now, dealing with my own crap, how can I be there for someone else.

Ex-wife: Are you okay?
Voice1: Stop being afraid
Joe: No… I’m not okay,
Voice2: You’re just as guilty
Ex-wife: Why, what’s wrong?
Voice1: Tell her
Joe: …I don’t know
Ex-wife: Maybe you should go stay with Pete for a little while.
Joe: No…
Voice1: The truth. Say it!

As an actor when you have those moments that you do it, you make someone laugh or cry, you also have the feeling of being heard and listened to, it’s a drug that thing that gets you, makes you feel alive.

Monsignor Cheplic got a better deal than I did. He’s got his full pension, his benefits, nobody knows where he is living today.

That's so funny, they say since he’s retired, they don't have to be accountable for where he is.

(EX-WIFE exits)
Voice3: You are emotionally unavailable.
Joe: I know!
Voice3: You had nothing to give
Joe: I know that now, I haven’t had one honest relationship
Voice3: Well what do you expect, the last time you opened up to someone he…
Joe: I need to learn how to trust.
Voice1: Give it time.

PERFORMANCES of For Pete's Sake
Often benefit Road to Recovery

"I credit Bob Hoatson Hoatson with really saving me, saving my life," Capozzi said. "When I came out with what happened to me, I was like, now what do you do, who can you trust. When I told my family, actually my brother put me in touch with SNAP in New Jersey, and then Pat Serrano from SNAP in New Jersey who’s just been an incredible supportive trusting woman, put me in touch with Bob Hoatson.

"I talked with him one night and next day met with him. He had information, he knew of Cheplic, and knew of past abuse allegations about Cheplic.

"When I came forward, Bob Hoatson already knew a history of Cheplic. So when I went public, Hoatson was very supportive, I put my name out there. I didn't trust just going to the archdiocese.

"Bob Hoatson was one of the first people who started to give that back to me. He guided me through the process of formally going to the church and to law enforcement to make record of my allegations. He would always call to check on how I was doing.

"Hoatson NEVER once asked me for anything. The church has put him through hell only because Bob wants the truth to be known and the church is afraid of the truth.

"When I started writing 'For Pete's Sake' I promised myself that if I ever presented the play to an audience Road to Recovery would benefit. Since the first reading in December of 2008, we have raised over $2000 and will continue raising money and awareness for Road to Recovery with the benefit readings of "For Pete's Sake" planned in the future."

CofA: In the last three years I’ve heard these stories from so many people. The MO these priests used is too similar for there not to have been some kind of communication - a network, yes, even a conspiracy - between the predator priests who stalked families throughout the United States in the last century and the bishops who enabled them. The problem of being crime victims who are also writers and artists is -

How do we explain the depth of the damage.

When someone sexualizes a person before adulthood, it affects them at the very core of their being. Add in the factor that the rapist is a clergy person with community wide credibility of being a man somehow connected to God - lines and lines of blog posts and newspaper articles, volumes of books still can’t capture it. It takes that spark of creativity, a lightning bolt to shock an audience awake.

Pete: So did you jerk off today?
Voice3: Oh crap here it comes
Joe: uhhm actually nope not today, like I’ve told you before, not really into that…
Voice2: Liar!
Pete: I’m just wondering,
Voice1: You don’t have to tell him!
Joe: I really don’t. It’s a sin isn’t it? I don’t want to go blind.
Pete: Oh come on… what do you guys do nowadays?

In “For Pete’s Sake” by Joe Capozzi you ride a roller coaster - fly parabolas in a test aircraft - experience excitement rage hilarity despair - a lot like a day in the life of an adult victim of a pedophile priest. A reading of the play is tentatively on calendar for a location in Manhattan Dec. 5.

Joe: I thought, just be quiet.

Don’t be a troublemaker.

But no one hears John Doe

View Capozzi's video

Read more about Cheplic by Looking Under C in the data base of accused priests at Bishop Accountability

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Do the PayPal high five campaign.

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Thursday, October 08, 2009


Posted by artemurphy
March 15, 2009, 2:14PM
What a surprise that St. Rose of Lima Parish on the Cleveland West Side was closed by Bishop Lennon.
How vibrant was that parish? First, its former pastor, James Viall, was removed for sexual molestation of children. Second, the Parish rallied behind this perp, James Viall (aka "Father God" as it was reported in local newspaper and TV news coverage) and yet sadly, elements of the Parish excoriated the victims, essentially revictimizing the innocents who came forward with allegations which were later proven to be credible. The Parish defended Viall "fiercely," as newspaper accounts further read. Some victims’ houses were vandalized on Lake Road by irate parishioners. Third, as more victims came forward regarding Viall, representing nearly 50 years of child sexual abuse going back into the late 1950s when Viall was newly ordained and moved around the Diocese of Cleveland from parish to parish, a common practice by the Diocese, St. Rose seemed further emboldened to defend this perp, handing out supportive leaflets after Mass, suggesting a fund raiser for his defense, promoting a 50-Year Jubilee Celebration for him and continuing to list him in the Parish bulletin as Pastor. Fourth, eventually the "incensed" parishioners joined other parishes in the community, including opening a “protest school,” thereby removing large support dollars for St. Rose of Lima Parish and seeing its own school close. Tragically to this day, James Viall continues to protest his innocence and manipulatively work the Vatican, Canon Law appeals systems without regard to his victims and in spite of his fellow priests’ sensitivities (particularly those who long had suspicions, but who were themselves afraid to speak out the to the bishop). Affirmative acknowledgement and confirmation from professionals such as law enforcement and private investigators, social workers, psychologists, medical and diocesan clergy to the victims has not interrupted or short-circuited Viall’s denial. St. Rose of Lima must have been the easiest place for Lennon to close....

(Comment on:
Cleveland parishes may close but Catholic church will be resurrected within all of us: Regina Brett

This one I don't have the link but here is story:
PHOENIX RISING August 18, 2009. APwire - 1:30pmcentral: PHOENIX RISING IN CLEVELAND by, Joelyn Scott and Timothy Nolan, staff writers

Well the long awaited word is in: Former Cleveland priest and pastor of once renowned St. Rose Parish in Cleveland's inner city, James A. Viall has been found GUILTY by a three judge panel - made up of canonists and peer priests - of sexually molesting an untold number of pre-pubesecent boys during the course of his 50 - count 'em - 50 years' history as a catholic priest in Cleveland. Despite seven long years of arduous investigation, untold threats toward victims by the "good catholics" of Viall's bastion of arch orthodoxy, St. Rose of Lima Parish on Cleveland's West Side, and - at times - humiliating and degrading depositions conducted by Cleveland and Chicago attorneys and canonists, and coordinated by the Cleveland Diocesan Lay Review Board, the Office of Bishop Lennon, and Cleveland Attorney, Patricia Ritzert, Esq., four brave victims of Viall's predatory activities have won a hollow victory in their battle for Justice. (Viall plans on appealing his judgment to the Office of The Promulgation of The Faith - the Vatican's highest judicial body - through the auspices of Kay Bailey Hutchison and Women For Faith & Family). Offered hush money to fade away into the dust, these four brave men refused any remuneration from the Cleveland Diocese in their pursuit of JUSTICE. With their professional careers in tatters and their reputations ruined along the way (including those of James McCarty and David Briggs, religion writers for The Cleveland Plain Dealer - Ohio's Largest Newspaper), these men continue to suffer bouts of mental depression, physical torment and spiritual darkness. But their collective beliefs in Truth, Justice, and Fair Play gave them the strength to carry on in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds. One now suffers from advanced paralysis of the left side of his face; another from wastage; and a third from obsessive scruples and feelings of guilt. On a more positive note, the four are planning a reunion/fund-raiser and reverse raffle in Cleveland at Guarino's on Murray Hill on the third Sunday in September and invite all their friends and supporters to enjoy dinner and drinks (open bar underwritten by Anthony Pilla Enterprises, pasta by Cavollis, spumoni and pastries by Corbos on The Hill). Fr. Viall was contacted as part of this story but refused comment saying instead that he still suffers mental torment, bouts of self-doubt about his vocation, and the lingering effects of a lifelong malady known as Addison's Disease. (It is reported by third parties that Viall seldom ventures outside his Brecksville home except for Oil of Ipacac, has all of his meals catered in by John Q's Steak House, is reduced to washing his own bed sheets and underwear, and has given away all of his Ivy League sports shirts to the children at Parmadale Village.) Viall, ordained in Cleveland in December 1954 by His Excellency Bishop Edward F. Hoban, is 80 and lives with his brother John Viall in Brecksville, Ohio. Declan O'Toole and Emmett Murphy also contributed to this story.


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Accused priest's parish defends him fiercely


David Briggs
Plain Dealer Reporter

He is a man so revered for his devotion to a traditional church that some of his followers compare him to Mother Teresa and Pope John Paul II. The nickname "Father God" is sometimes whispered in the halls of St. Rose of Lima Church in Cleveland.

Yet the Rev. James Viall is one of 15 active priests suspended by the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland after they were accused of sexual misconduct.

Viall, 73, was placed on leave July 3 after two families told the diocese and the Cuyahoga County Department of Children and Family Services that they had discovered inappropriate photos of minors and that Viall had been providing alcohol to children.

Two successful professional men later told prosecutors Viall abused them in the 1950s and '70s. One of them has sued Viall.

The case is a striking example of the two faces of the priesthood confronting Catholics across the nation.

The apparent contradiction troubles Viall's supporters at St. Rose, and they're angry with Bishop Anthony Pilla and anyone who questions their former pastor.

In fact, a priest during a July Mass asked parishioners to pray for Viall's speedy vindication, and a flier inserted into bulletins at Sunday Masses July 14 urged church members to fight for his reinstatement.

During a July 31 parish meeting, some parishioners laughed at and jeered diocesan officials when they urged compassion for abuse victims. Families suspected of helping prosecutors have been attacked in online forums and parish meet ings.

"He is just such a great example of what we believe in, in our faith," church member Marilyn Kenner said after the meet ing. "As far as we're concerned, this is spiritual warfare."

Viall's lawyer said the priest is unable to comment on the allegations because they are being investigated by church and civil authorities.

For those individuals who say they experienced his advances, Viall's suspension is long-delayed justice.

One 60-year-old man who said he was abused by Viall said the priest's actions have bothered him for 47 years. The man, who spoke on the condition that he not be identified, said he awaits the day Viall and other abusive priests are sent to prison along with Martin Louis, a former diocesan priest convicted of sexual crimes.

"I'm more than happy to forgive all these guys their sins as long as they're sitting next to Martin," he said.

Slow seduction

The seduction started slowly, the older man recalls.

Viall told him that he was a special altar boy, and pulled him out of class to serve funerals and other functions at St. Jerome in Cleveland. Viall became friends with his family, and won their confidence to take the youth to Cedar Point and on trips to CYO camps, the former altar boy said.

Later, the man said, came dirty jokes, sexual discussions and offers of alcohol. There were gifts and late-night swimming trips at the seminary, where the former altar boy said he was encouraged to swim naked.

On a trip to Washington, D.C., when he was 13, the man said he and Viall stayed in the same room and that the priest told him to take off his pajamas and come into his twin bed wearing only one of the priest's T-shirts. When he complied, the priest threw his arms and legs over the young boy and began to breathe heavily as they lay in bed together, the man recalls.

In the flier circulated at St. Rose Church, supporters of Viall said the recent allegations represent the first time in a 49-year career the priest has even been accused of improper conduct with children.

But it was as early as 1955, the year after the priest's ordination, that the man said Viall began to abuse him.

A second man also has come forward to prosecutors, saying he was abused by Viall as an altar boy in the early 1970s at St. Phillip and James. Many of the details in the allegations are similar, including Viall urging the boy to wear his T-shirt to bed.

In retrospect, some former parishioners said Viall has often shown an inordinate interest in boys. For nearly all of his priesthood, Viall went on unchaperoned trips with them. He gave some youths the honorary title "boy bishop."

Former parishioners said Viall always seemed to have young teens around him, even when visiting church members' homes for social functions.

But for decades, as is the case with many priests suspected of abusing children, no one said anything.

Supporters fight back

This image of Viall is unrecognizable to many current members of St. Rose, some of whom see the priest as the victim of a witch hunt. Critics say the church bypassed due process in suspending the priest publicly and damaging his reputation.

"A wonderful man, Father Viall. . . . He's an eloquent preacher. He's a very orthodox and holy man," said George Donnelly, a St. Rose parishioner and father of 13. "I think that we have the cart before the horse. You're guilty before you're proven innocent."

James Schneider said that when he was an altar boy, Viall was a model priest. When he got out of the Marine Corps at age 21, Viall gave him a job doing custodial work at St. Rose to help him pay for his education at Cleveland State University.

Now three of Schneider's sons are altar servers at St. Rose. He allowed one of his sons to travel alone with Viall and stay in the same room with the priest on a two-week trip to Europe. The priest told the young teen he wanted to take him to Europe because his health did not permit him to travel alone and the boy was his friend.

James Schneider, 46, trusts Viall completely. He calls him "without a doubt" one of the holiest men in his life.

For those on the other side, the parish opposition can be frightening.

"We are new arrivals to this cesspool," said one of the parents who complained.

The parents declined to speak publicly. Already, they say, they have been forced to seek new churches, and they and their children have been vilified in late-night phone calls and Internet chat rooms for speaking out. An unsigned newsletter inserted in bulletins indicated the parents who complained about Viall actually approved of alcohol being served to their children.

At the July church meeting, some hollered, "She's crazy. She's nuts" in reference to one of the parents who complained.

Most of the 200 parishioners attending supported Viall. "This is an attack on Father Viall, and it's an attack on this community of faithful believers. He is devout. He is religious. He is a man of God," parishioner Lloyd Hemphill said after the meeting.

Tradition survives

At St. Rose, the hierarchical church survives, from the cleric saying the Latin Mass facing away from the congregation down to the black biretta, the traditional square hat with silk trim, worn by the priest. It is an environment that does not brook dissent.

Supporters see Viall as a charismatic, inspiring preacher who would visit them in the hospital and be by their side through illnesses of loved ones.

For those who believe in him, it is inconceivable Viall would abuse children, several said. Some say they're frustrated that authorities haven't released details of the complaints against Viall.

But the Catholic Church, reeling from the clergy sex abuse scandal, has committed itself to investigating allegations and caring for those who say they were abused.

In the uproar at St. Rose, concern for victims has not always been a priority.

At a weekday Mass in July, the Rev. Sean Donnelly added his own prayer of the faithful that made no mention of abuse victims: "We pray for the speedy return and vindication of Father Viall."

At the parish meeting, Sister Rita Mary Harwood, diocesan secretary for parish life and development, and the Rev. Lawrence Jurcak, director of the clergy personnel board, were jeered when they spoke of extending pastoral care to people who have been sexually molested.

But Harwood and Jurcak, in the face of angry parishioners, urged church members not to ignore the suffering of those who claim to be victims of Viall.

"My heart grieves terribly for these individuals," Jurcak said.

Several times, the slightly built nun urged sympathy for abuse victims in quiet and prayerful tones. "No child should suffer harm at the hands of clergy. That should be our primary concern," Harwood said.

And when they learned parents who raised concerns this year were being harassed, the two professional men who said they had been abused said they decided to come forward. One of them said it was painful to risk emotional trauma as well as the wrath of Viall's supporters.

In the end, it was a simple moment that gave him the will to speak out. It was seeing the sheer innocent joy of childhood on the face of his preteen son when the boy brought home a frog from a pond.

"When I saw him with the frog, this is what I must have been, what I was like at 11 and 12 years old, before Viall had his way with me."

Plain Dealer reporter Margaret Bernstein contributed to this story.

To reach this Plain Dealer reporter:, 216-999-4812

© 2002 The Plain Dealer. Used with permission.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

If only the leaders were as good as the members

"As we sought the essential reasons for how this, the greatest of all scandals in the history of American Catholicism came about, today I would have to say that what was most important was the discovery that truthfulness, itself, had been the first victim to fall. Without truthfulness, leadership did what it willed; dragging the church into the murky world of half-truths and cover-up.

"Make no mistake - as truthfulness disappeared, each of the other great virtues became victims and faded away as well. Charity suffered; kindness was ignored; courage was discarded; and holiness disappeared. Character was traded for secrecy; honor was bartered for disguise; and moral excellence was silenced before it could utter a word."


A Privatc Catholic in the Public Square
August 4, 2009
Speech by
The Honorable Anne M. Burke

(If only the leaders were as good as the members.)