About

After a few years of therapy, I have come to realize what happened and how it happened that night at St Thomas More parish in Durham NH. This was NOT revealed during therapy, but because of some of the tools they taught me on how to calm down when I started going nuts over the nightmares and blaming myself for what happened at St Thomas More. The anger I got through is extreme at times and suicidal at times. I was taught how to work through this by my incredible therapist.

Now, yes in a way, I am changing some of my story. I will leave the original up, but this is what happened. Please read between the story for the corrections. Everything I state that Gaulin did to me was the truth. It was in the way it happened, and the realization that Gaulin was NOT the only priest who raped me that night at St Thomas More. There was also Joseph Desmond and one other priest there.

I am a survivor of a priest rape at the St Thomas More Parish in Durham NH in 1975. I had ran away from a foster home and was bought to the parish for the night for safe keeping until my social services worker could bring me to a group home in Rochester NH. IT WAS NOT WHEN I RAN AWAY FROM HOME, THAT THIS HAPPENED.

It happened the night my father and I got into a fight. I had done a really shitty thing to him. I stole one of his checks. I had cashed it at Richardsons store in Durham NH. I bought a carton of marlboros with the money. It was probably two days later, that it was discovered. Well the cop showed up that night it was discovered. My father and I were fighting. The cop asked me what I wanted to do. I told him I wanted to leave this insane house. My father, pissed and rightfully so, reached over and punched me in the face, knocking me out of the chair. That is when the cop decided things needed to cool off, so he brought me to St Thomas More in Durahm. That night forever changed my life and the way I looked at life. The priest there, whom shall remain nameless at this time, decided in that one night it would be better to rape my body and torture my mind, heart and soul than to protect me from all harm and give me one night of safety.

Priest rape is a horrible crime. To take it from the RCC catechism: “Rape is the forcible violation of the sexual intimacy of another person. It does injury to justice and charity. Rape deeply wounds the respect, freedom, and physical and moral integrity to which every person has a right. It causes grave damage that can mark the victim for life. It is always an intrinsically evil act. Graver still is the rape of children committed by parents (incest) or those responsible for the education of the children entrusted to them.” (no. 2356)

You can have no idea what it is like, a priest raping a child. The very act does destroy your soul, your heart, your mind and body. It is a great evil that harms sometimes beyond repair.

I am doing this blog as a way to give myself a voice. Hopefully also to bring some healing from the horror that was brought upon me by this priest, who for one night was supposed to protect me and keep me safe from harm. He allowed his disgusting, degenerate needs to outweigh the good that may have once existed within him. He destroyed my life for decades to come.

Due to his actions I lost my faith in God and Jesus Christ. I doubt I will ever regain that. To me, that night, when I cried and begged God and Jesus Christ to save me from this evil, they did not answer my cries. I often wondered why? What was their purpose for allowing this priest to bring such and evil into my life? It seems to me I may never have that answer. I no longer believe or worship this God or Jesus Christ, though I have tried to look at Jesus in a new and different light.

All I have to say to the priests who raped us children, to the leaders of the Roman Catholic Church who aided and abetted these crimes by cover-up, you all consider yourselves above the law. You all seem to feel justified in taking a stand against us victims of this evil and seek to stand in our way for true healing. You pay lip service to us and in the press, how you all want to reconcile us to your way of life, your God and Jesus and want to help us heal.

Seriously? Your actions speak louder than words. I do know this though. Karma is real. As taught in the bible, Jesus said: as you sow, so shall you reap. You one day either in this life, or in the next will reap the things you have sown against us victims of your perverted, degenerate priests and your cover-up and continued protection of your church. I know for a fact many of you, like Pope Benedict XVI, Cardinal Timothy Dolan. Michael Leveda, Bernard Law and others and especially Bill Donohue, President of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights will one day pay for your evils. That is not my law, but the very law of the one you profess to follow, Jesus Christ himself.

FRANK’S STORY ABOUT HIS RAPE BY A PRIEST AT ST THOMAS MORE PARISH IN DURHAM NH:

In March of 1975, (this is the wrong date. This was the around the time I had ran away from home for the last time) The incident HAPPENED BEFORE this.

I had gotten into a fight with my father. I did a very wrong and disgusting thing to him. First I had stolen one of his checks and went to Richardsons store in Durham, cashed it and bought a carton of marlboros with the money. It took a couple of days but my dad found out. The cop showed up, I believe he called them about it, or it was the cop who told him about my cashing his check. All I know is, a cop was there, standing at the door of the mobile home we lived in, in Madbury NH.. The cop asked me what I wanted. I mouthed off and told the cop I wanted to get the hell out of that insane place. That pissed my dad off, rightfully so. He reached over and punched me in the face for it and knocked me out of the chair. That is when the cop decided it was best to take me out of the house for a cooling off.

A police officer brought me to the church and no sooner did he leave and the priest, Father Leon Gaulin, brought me to his bedroom.

He told me I had broken one of the Ten Commandments and told me I was now going to hell unless I did what he said.

He had me strip and he got naked. First he performed oral sex on me to ‘suck out the evil from me”. He then forced me to perform oral sex on him to take his “sacred sacrament” into me. Even though I puked he was still not finished.

He raped me anally then. While he was doing so, he forced me to say the Our Father and Hail Mary and he kept telling me if I told anyone about his special healing I would burn in hell forever.

I remember crying and begging God and Jesus to make him stop.

NOW. I remember Gaulin bringing me a glass of water, right after he raped me. He forced me to drink it. I remember him dressed in just a dark robe. He then layed up against me, in a spooning fashion and started to masturbate me and I passed out. I though now remember, I was also raped, by “Father” Joseph Desmond and another priest was also there…or another man, who also raped me. I was in and out of consciousness. BUT I REMEMBER DESMOND, GAULIN and another man, raping me.YES it is still highly foggy. It is hard to remember things when you have been drugged. Also what they did to me, was so truly evil, so truly horrifying, my mind still refuses to release it all. What ever they did to me? I really do not want to remember. Remembering what Gaulin did to me, is more than enough for me. I can only imagine, what other evils they put me through that night. This is why I originally thought it was Desmond who raped me. Sure I was convinced it was NOT him. When I saw a picture of Leon Gaulin in a newspaper article. I KNEW it was Gaulin that the cop left me with. I knew it was Gaulin who first took me into the bedroom and raped me.

I remember going to court the next day in Durham. I was sent back home. I did in fact, eventually run away. My father had gone to Honduras to meet his future wife Dena. My older brother and my paternal grandfather was left in charge. I remember that I had gotten home from school and for something, my older brother and I got into a fight. We were fighting right in the middle of the mobile home, and my grandfather was trying to break it up. I went after my brother with a pair of homemade nunchuks. They were basically a broom stick, broken in half with a rope tying them together. The rope broke. Well I ran out of the house and down the street, where one of our neighbors saw me, and brought me into their house. That afternoon I spent the rest of the day with Lenny, his girlfriend Caroline, and his brother and sister. I know their names, and I had a major crush on the sister. Later, Lenny brought me across the street from route 9 where we used to wait for our school bus and into the field and woods where they had built a little log style thing and that is where I slept that night, with Lenny’s dog annie next to me. I woke up the next morning and left and went to school at Oyster River, but did not attend classes. I was then picked up by the cops and turned over to Welfare. I then became a ward of the state, with my social worker being Pam Shaw.

The rest of the story is true. I did get brought to Teen Haven. I was a mess. I had ran away from various places. I had been in Port House in Portsmouth NH. The group home got closed because of an incident there involving a kid who had diabetes and committed suicide. Long story there. I then went through various temporary foster homes. One was an old lady in Dover, who could not handle me. I was then sent to another foster home in Somersworth. That place drove me insane. The mother was a bible thumping baptist. We used to have to go to Tri City Baptist Church for long services. She had three sons. I ran away from that place. I went and stayed with Pammy and Tammy Harris in Somersworth, who used to be our old next door neighbors on Central Ave when we lived in Dover. Russ from that foster home found me and beat the crap out of me on the porch. He was pissed off that I had ran away.

That is when the cops got a hold of Pam.

She then brought me to Teen Haven. I started having nightmares of the world being destroyed. It was burning. I then became a pyromaniac. I set fire to two houses, though they were abandoned, the woods, called the Pines behind Spaulding High School in Rochester, and then set fire to a truck that was like two hundred yards from the Teen Haven for which I got arrested for the next day.

I was then brought to Austin Cate Academy in Center Strafford, NH. I still had the nightmares and even attempted my own evil. I tried three times to rape a girl in the Pines. I could not do it though, hell I puked each time I tried. To this very day I still hold guilt for this. Yes I did not rape this girl, but it was just the fact that I even thought of doing it that horrified me. This is NOT me. I wish I could in fact track her down and apologize. I am so incredibly sorry that I thought of bringing this horror into your life. I am so incredibly sorry that I even thought of harming you Miss. I hope that you have had a beautiful life, full of happiness and joy.

There is something though that I did learn about this in therapy. I was NOT EVIL. If I were, then I would have raped this girl. I would NOT feel guilty about it, even to this very day. I know I am not evil…but sometimes, in the darkness of the soul, when you are dealing with your own horrors, you do not think straight. I also proved those scum whom do rape children and said they could not control themselves, they are WRONG. YOU CAN. You just do not want to. You embrace that incredible evil, so you condemn yourself. I was raped, twice and almost raped a third time…but YOU can say NO to perpetuating this evil. YOU CAN break the cycle.

I did tell a school friend at Austin Cate, but he did not believe me. After that, my nightmares got even worse. I was being gang raped in hell by priests, bishops and popes and even the demons of hell. I would wake up when the priest who raped me, now a demon would come over and rip my penis off and eat it.

I became a drunk and a druggie. I got into all kinds of trouble with the law. I got raped one more time by a guy who picked me up hitch hiking and drugged me and I woke up to him raping me in the back of his RV. I thought I deserved this though and it was punishment for my telling John at school what happened to me.

Then two months later, I was hitch hiking again, and this guy pulled off the dirt road before the bridge in Gloucester Mass and tried to rape me, but I defended myself and sliced him up real good. I tried to get his car out of a ditch because he had run off, but I couldn’t, so I ran up the embankment and saw a cop car and flagged it down. I did not know he had already picked up the guy and I told the cop what happened. Well he went to put me into the back seat and I saw the guy and I freaked the hell out. Then the cop asked the guy if I was the one who just tried to rob him and first he said no. He said no a couple of times but then said yes when I kept saying he just tried to rape me.

The cop believed me though. Yet, there was nothing he could do because the guy pressed all kind of charges against me. I was charged with Assault with a Deadly Weapon, attempted Armed Robbery and other charges. Again, I felt I deserved this and it pretty well ruined my life, I lost my job, my apartment everything and became homeless, eventually being arrested for breaking into a deserted boy scout hall in Rockport to live. I then went to jail to wait the trial but was given a 2 year probation sentence.

From then on my life was even more a living hell.

I went to prison numerous times. I did time in Florida for burglary of a hotel room and a car, in Maine twice, once for burglary and once for escape and theft. I went to prison for five years in Michigan. There, at Florence Crane, I was surrounded by pedophiles. I sort of got some revenge there.

I have tried to kill myself numerous times. I have woken up in a hospital er having my stomach pumped out. I have even tried to shoot myself in the head, but some reason, the gun jammed.

I have done a lot of things to kill myself in many other ways. When I say I was a drunk, I meant it. I would drink a fifth of vodka and a case of beer and try to kill myself by alcohol poisoning. I would eventually pass out after puking and wake up later going WTF? Why am I still here?

I lost everything, I lost my soul. I lost all I held dear to me when I was a child. I was completely and totally lost. I thought I was the Anti-Christ. This is even in my police records under my alias. When I got arrested in Daytona and the cops asked me my name? I told them I was Damien the Anti-Christ. I took the name from the Omen series movie. I did some pretty nasty things to the churches.

I would go in and piss in their wine bottles they used for sacrament. I would piss and crap on their steps and in their pews. I did a Linda Blair exorcist thing one time during a Christmas eve mass when the priest came by and sprinkled us…running out laughing afterwards.

I eventually came out two and a half years ago after helping another rape victim.

Now, after therapy and talking with lots of other survivors of this horror, always asking why? Why did this happen to me, the other day, after visiting a new site on FB dealing with the Mafia, I remembered something from the Godfather movies, which I love so much. In the scene where Frankie is crying to Don Vito, the Don grabs him, slaps him and tells him to stop crying and be a man. Well that hit me like a ton of bricks, like a sledgehammer. That is when I stopped crying and asking why? Why me and I posted this on my Facebook page:

I have finally got the answer to the questions I have been asking about why? Why did all this crap happen to me?

TO MAKE ME STRONG, TO MAKE ME A FIGHTER, TO GIVE ME THE COURAGE TO STAND UP AND FIGHT THE SCUMBAG PEDOPHILES, TO BRING FEAR INTO THEIR HEARTS, SOULS AND MINDS, TO MAKE THEM PAY FOR WHAT THEY DID TO US.

TO BE A WARRIOR FOR THE CHILDREN…BECAUSE A WARRIOR IS STRENGTHENED THROUGH HORROR, THROUGH ADVERSITY, THROUGH REMAINING ALIVE WHEN THEY WANT TO GIVE UP AND GIVE IN. TO MAKE YOU ONE OF THE BEST FIGHTING MACHINES ON THE EARTH TO GO AFTER PEDOPHILE SCUM AND PUT THEM WHERE THEY BELONG!!!

NO MORE SHALL I QUESTION WHY?

I NOW KNOW THE ANSWER!!!!

Now I am going to put fear, fear that was put into me into the scum whom did this not only to me, but to tens of thousands of my brothers and sisters whom also endured this evil.

Bill Pig Face Donohue has come after me, trying to instill fear into me…all he did was release a tiger.

I am going to do all that I can to put these scumbag pedophile pimps and priests and their supporters and apologists where they belong…in prison…or in hell. Right where they belong.

You harm a child, you rape a child, you steal that soul of the child, you destroy their lives, that makes you a special kind of souless monster. The Roman Catholic Church is full of these kinds of monsters. Well monsters can be defeated. How? By no longer fearing them…and putting fear into them.

Fear me Roman Catholic Church! Fear me Bill Donohue! Fear me Cardinals Timothy Dolan, Roger Mahony, Donald Wuerl, Bernard Law and all the rest of you degenerate, scumbag Pedophile Pimps…fear me…look into the mirror…and you will see ME staring back at you…for you shall fear me….my nightmares are over…and YOURS have just begun.

  1. I am a clergy abuse rape victim, and have been an advocate for child abuse victims for the last ten years. I am a SNAP leader, an author, and a pagan witch. I fought the church in court in a jury trial fro 5 years and won several trials and appeals.

    Joey Piscitelli 925-262-3699

    • I just started my battle against these sorry assed child pedophile perverts. I cannot wait to get them in court, I will utterly destroy them.

      • I am not only a victim of rape by a priest who is now dead but on the same day I was raped by ten local boys at the same church grounds, in the rectory garage and I am still fighting the church. Today I received a message that the church is not going to do anything. PA is trying to pass a Legislative Law for a two year window where you can go aster these perverts no matter how long ago it was. I have been waiting many, many years. I am sure the Church has insurance to cover accidents and crimes on their property. I have witnesses that will come forward and the church’s attorney could care less. Just more cover ups. I am sick of it. My heart goes out to all of us who have suffered.

  2. I hope you see justice for any crimes that were committed against you. It is amazing that the vast amount of criminal activity that was caused, condoned, and hidden by the Roman catholic Church went unpunished in the courts.

    • I do too Joey, I do too, but with the way I am attacking this Pedophile Pimp church, its Unholy Pricks Benedict, Dolan, Leveda and Donohue, I seriously doubt it. They will make me wait. That is ok though Joey, in the end my justice will come when Dolan, Benedict, Leveda and Donohue dies and they all find themselves in the lowest pits of hell being gang raped by demons just like I have been in my nightmares, just what these sick and twisted pedophile pimps deserve.

  3. They are true sociopaths. No conscience whatsover. It is amazing they go by life dancing on air, with no worries, no sufferring, no cares, no remorse, no accountability. And they claim to represent god. sick sick, sick.

    • Oh I wholeheartedly agree with you. Cardinal Timothy Dolan and Leveda are both socio-psychopaths of the highest order. They may go through this life dancing on air with no worries, but when they die, they will go to where they belong, hell for all eternity for harming children. I have no problem or qualms telling them this either.

  4. Thank You for following our efforts from Minnesota. We appreciate the empowering strength you project on your blog. Thanks again, Bob Schwiderski

  5. Arthur Baselice

    There is no SOL on the pain and suffering VICTIMS AND THEIR FAMILIES LIVE WITH, the politicians need to understand this !

  6. Dear Victorious Survivor, I just found your website and had to email….I am NOT a victim of any priest, nor am I affiliated to any religion, but feel so moved by those who have been molested, raped and deceived by the catholic church over the years. What prompted this outpouring? Well, my anger on the victims behalf is always there, but today, choosing a new so-called vicar of christ, fills me with indignation…and the way that reporters mention priest abuse is far too light-hearted and demeaning to the victims, whose lives have so impacted. And I try, and try, but fail to understand how anyone can be in that Roman square tonight, without banners calling for a complete remodeling of catholicism and its rules and regulations and a complete condemnation of sexual abuse and the protection of its perpetrators….Also, I feel so much for all the victims (mostly in Africa and South America) who have succumbed to HIV/AIDS because of the pathetic backward stance of the catholic church, which has an awful lot of blood on its hands..
    Thank you and good luck spreading the word…

  7. I have just watched the documentary Silence in the house of God. I just wanted to say how much I admire all of those fighting for justice. Your bravery and determination is astonishing, particularly when you are up against the secret society that is the Vatican. I strongly believe you will win because you are strong and determined. The Catholic Church is not above the law, the Vatican is not a state. The same rule of law applies regardless of whether they think they are above the laws that apply to us. I wish you strength and victory. You are amazing people.

  8. Stephen Gilfedder

    Frank I enjoy hearing from you and didn’t know this site existed Thanks for letting me in on it.

  9. You are a bunch of nut balls. Get some therapy so that you can contribute something meaningful to society. Move on!

    • uiciHey Mike Hunt…go contribute something meaningful to society yourself….like maybe suicide.

    • Hey MikeCunt…we will stop picking on your church when the child rapists and the child rapist enablers are all in prison. Of course it seems scumbag parishioners like you love to defend the rapists of children…so in our book, this makes you a rapist of children for only fellow rapist of children defend fellow rapists.

  10. Mike Hunt is obviously a phony name for a groupie who sympathizes with the RCC molestation machine. His goal is to pour salt on wounds, and take pride in his own sociopathic comments. Very much like an unremorseful cleric. Fr. Mike, we know you very well. Your comments are a testament to your so called “faith”.

    • Yes Joey I realized the Mike Hunt phony name…because it is actually a derogatory way of saying my cu.t…we used to use it as kids to get by saying dirty things in front of our parents. This just proves how much of a lamed assed loser the poster really is.

  11. caitfinnegan

    Good on you, Frank! Keep talking. Keep writing. I applaud the courage.

  12. Frank, you are my little cousin and we are blood. I love you even though we do not see eye to eye on some things. I pray for you often and i sincerely hope that someday you will find that the actions committed by these men reflect only the worst of evil and has nothing to do with having Christ in your heart. Jesus loves you Frankie, He loved you so much that He died on a cross for your sins and mine. The one day that you truly accept His love and forgiveness is the one day that you will find true peace. I know, that is when I found it myself.
    You can call me if you want to ever talk, you have my number.

    • When Jesus Christ and God decides to start having the Pedophile Pimps and Priests arrested, tried and convicted for their crimes….then I will bow down and accept them. Until then Gene…they are like their followers. Scum.

    • Trying to shove religion down a victim’s throat, especially after all he’s been through because of the priests is really lame and shameful and shows no sensitivity nor empathy whatsoever. You can give love and support inconditionally instead of being more worried about the godamn catholic church…That would honor you miss.
      Ps. if your love or support comes with conditions (share the same blood or faith), I would consider rethinking where that leaves you as a person…

      • Could not have said it better. Honestly? When I am told I should rejoin the church, or even the religion? My response is? That is like asking a black man or woman to join the KKK or a Jewish man or woman to join the Nazi party.

  13. I was a personal friend of Gerald Shirilla from the time we were both freshmen at Wayne State in 1956. My husband and I followed his path through seminary training and into his first parish before we moved away. We thought the world of him, even buying him a new automobile.

    When Tom Paciorek bravely revealed Shirilla’s pedophilia, I was horrified. It got worse when he phoned me after he got out of “treatment”in Maryland…here I was, nearly a life long friend as well as a clinical psychologist, and he could not admit to me his history. He told me he learned he wasn’t giving himself enough recreation as he needed!!!!! He then asked us to bankroll a business he was starting with another priest. We cut off all communication with him in utter disgust.

    Shame on the bishops, the so called therapists, and his fellow priests for not knowing pedophiles never admit their guilt and cannot change and for protecting a monster.

    • Sadly Diana…they know…they damn well know that not only was the mass rapes and abuses of children and teens by their priests and nuns were not only a sin, but a felony crime….I have found in my standing up to them and seeking justice for all of us…that they will do all they can to attack us victims and make us look like the ones whom raped their priests.

      I have had said right to my face by Bill Donohue of the Catholic League, that because I, as a 15 year old boy, did not smack my rapist degenerate ephebophile priest in the face when he was raping me, that not only did I want to be raped, but that I enjoyed it and I am a homosexual because of it.

      They are NOW saying in their new line of defense that this is NOT a pedophile problem in the church but a homosexual one. They take the John Jay report and twist it around.

      Donohue, Cardinal Dolan and many other leaders and followers of these scum state with great glee that because the majority of us whom were raped were male and the majority of the rapists were male and the majority of us were post pubescent…that does not make it a pedophile problem, that makes it a homosexual problem.

      Now this is even after in 2001 that one of the researchers of the John Jay report, along with many other certified therapists all state that while they get the statistics right…they are wrong in their assertions that this is a homosexual problem and told them straight out that they need to stop this crap…but even 13 years later they are reinforcing these lies by constantly putting out that this is a homosexual problem.

      Of course we all realize what this is about. They refuse to accept same sex marriage rights. They now found a new way to attack it..by calling homosexual men rapists of children.

      Well screw them because as long as I live and breath…I will stand up and correct their lies.

  14. Does anyone have any info against Crusade of Rescue. Canon Charles Flood who ran it and Philip James Benedict Harvey. I beleive they adopted to abuse or it was part of a Satanic cult. I would appreciate help.

  15. Thankyou for trying – I have read this but apppreciate help. C x

  16. Thankyou! Odd no other vicitms of sex abuse at Crusade of Rescue have come out as they let it slip many had rung thier switchboards. I have reason to beleive they practiced Monarch. Much on them and that kind of thing? Odd he got OBE and worked with Home Office.

  17. I beleive that there was wholesale abuse at this orphanage (mine) – also they had a weird practice of bringing the kids back for parties twice a year! How weird is that and abusive and traumatic as I always though I was going to be swapped for the kids left there. My adoptive father was paedophile and I was placed with him. I alwasy suspected it was done puropsely – a blind man can see my adoptive father is low life. I am now readin ghe widespread Stanism in Catholic preisthood etc etc – so it makes sense to put me with one of them to deliberatley abuse. as an investigative journaslit I willl expose this. The orphanage is still running. Did I receive kindly help from current Bishop when I approached them – no ..nothing but brick wall and icy cold.

  18. sorry didnt spell correct before posted – very emotional.

  19. By Matt C. Abbott

    The following is the story of Michael Iatesta, a survivor of clergy abuse. It is a slightly edited version of a statement he gave at an April 17 press conference.

    “Gerald Ruane, a recently retired priest of the Archdiocese of Newark, New Jersey, parish priest, college professor, campus minister, chaplain, director of the Sacred Heart Institute of Healing, and a national charismatic healer is also a child sex offender.

    “I was one of his victims.

    “I was raised in Bloomfield, New Jersey, and received all of my education from Catholic institutions. I graduated from Sacred Heart Grammar School in Bloomfield, Immaculate Conception High School in Montclair, and received my Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Seton Hall University in South Orange. I now reside in Westfield, New Jersey.

    “I’m a human rights activist, and for the last decade have worked to fight the spread of HIV/AIDS around the world. Most recently, I have worked for the Centers for Disease Control’s Global AIDS Program. I am here to tell you my story and to inform you that I will be filing a civil law suit against the Archdiocese of Newark, Father Ruane and the archbishop for years of emotional and psychological exploitation. I am fortunate to have attorney John Aretakis to represent me.

    “In 1973, when I was eleven, my father was dying of cancer. Hoping for a cure, I was introduced to Father Ruane at a charismatic healing Mass by my cousin who worked for him at Caldwell College between 1973 and 1977. Unfortunately, my father succumbed to his illness and died in 1974. During the next year, I remained a vulnerable, depressed young boy who was desperately seeking comfort and solace from the ordeal of my father’s illness and subsequent death.

    “In 1975, I was reacquainted with Father Ruane when he began his healing ministry. Instead of providing care, spiritual strength, and support to me, Gerald Ruane had his own corrupt self-interest in mind, which was neither priestly nor ‘fatherly.’ Throughout the rest of my childhood, adolescence and young adulthood, Father Ruane subjected me to sexual, emotional, and psychological abuse. Father Ruane told me during our earliest encounters that, since I no longer had a father, I required ‘ten hugs a day by a man to grow up normal.’

    “He also told me that I shouldn’t date or fantasize about sex with girls, that I shouldn’t go out with my friends who were outside the charismatic movement, and that I should consider living in their House of Prayer, a Christian group home where prayer would be the focus of the day. At an early age he instructed me to provide the sacrament of healing and communion to the congregation. I knew this was wrong but felt he had a hypnotic spell over me making it difficult to say no to any of his wishes or advances.

    “Throughout the years of 1975 – 1982, I would often be invited to visit Father Ruane at Caldwell College in Caldwell, Sacred Heart Church in Bloomfield, Our Lady of the Lakes Rectory in Verona and The Sacred Heart Institute of Healing in Caldwell. During these visitations for prayer and healing he would instruct the sister or rectory keeper to leave and would instruct that we were not to be disturbed for any reason. Behind locked doors, I would be given my prescription of ‘hugs.’

    “Eventually these hugs led to sexual touching. Father Ruane would instruct me to lie on the couch, and then he would lie on top of me, breathing hard, kissing me on my neck and lips, whispering in my ear, and fondling my genitals inside my pants, exploring every private area of my body. While in his room in the rectory, he would frequently ask me to take off my shirt, and, if I was comfortable, my pants, so he could give me a massage that, inevitably, would once again lead to him on top of me engaging in the same behavior as in other times.

    “This went on for all of my adolescent years. After leaving I was always in tears, feeling ugly and dirty, hoping I would die, so I wouldn’t have to face another visit with the priest.

    “During this period of time, I was also invited to be Father Ruane’s racquetball partner. I didn’t like the game, but again, I was under his spell and couldn’t say no. After these games, he would insist that we shower together. I wanted to shower at home because I was a modest and insecure teenager. While in the shower, Father Ruane would always stare at me and compliment me with lewd comments and wash me. All I could do was to stand, frozen. Afterwards, he would ask me 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 him. In reply to this, Father Ruane 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 more and more and tried to back away, but this proved difficult for a child who was raised to always obey and respect priests. I also believed he really loved me. Moreover, Father Ruane 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 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 our relationship was based on a lie, and the declarations from him of love, friendship and support were meaningless. I couldn’t 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.

    “After college, when Father Ruane 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 sinning and that I should leave her and come to live in their House of Prayer to avoid these temptations. Fortunately, my girlfriend helped me to realize how much control this priest had on me and for the first time I began to see things from another perspective.

    “In 1986 I began to see a psychologist and was soon hospitalized at Carrier Clinic for major depression with suicidal ideation. After my hospitalization, I attended group therapy. With the group’s support I realized I needed to confront Father Ruane. One night after meeting with the group, I drove to the rectory and was greeted by the housekeeper. It was around 10 p.m. I asked for Father Ruane, and she said he was in his room asleep. I told her it was an emergency; she reluctantly called him.

    “When I saw him I began screaming at 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 also 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.’

    “In 1992, I still had a lot of anger toward Father Ruane for what he did to me emotionally and physically. I remained depressed and 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 Father Ruane and me. She explained that it was not helpful to be angry toward the Church for the actions of one of its priests. She suggested I speak with another priest. My psychologist at the time happened to know of a priest in her parish who 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 Father Ruane, but she assured me that I would be safe with him.

    “I met with Father McNulty from the Blessed Sacrament Church in Roseland. After speaking with him, he echoed what everyone else said about the wrongdoings of Father Ruane, but he also gave me some hope. I was surprised when he advised me to report Father Ruane to Church authorities. He told me that I needed to forgive both myself and the priest and that it might be helpful to talk with Father Ruane again now that some years had passed. Taking this advice, I found out where Father Ruane’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 Father Ruane at his new West Caldwell office 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 in Newark on a federally-funded AIDS prevention project, was in a solid relationship for several years and was thinking about going back to church. He asked me if I was married (he saw no wedding ring) and I said no. He then asked if I was having sex with this person. I replied yes, and we 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 sexual addiction recovery support group given my history and current situation. I gave him back the book and told him ‘no thank you’ and that he might benefit from reading it himself. As I left his office I asked if he had done to others what he had done to me. He said no. I drove home hoping he had told me the truth but remained skeptical, thinking there were probably others like me whose trust he had betrayed.

    “That was the last time I saw him.

    “My cousin, who had regrettably introduced me to Father Ruane, has said that during the time she worked for him, she would be called very late in the evening to do non-relative work, and work as the gatekeeper. While there, she witnessed numerous young men, some of whom had driven there, others who were too young to drive, request to see Father Ruane. These late night visitors varied from a single young man to several men. When my cousin asked about these late night visitations to his room, Father Ruane became infuriated and gawkily mentioned the young men were coming to receive ‘vocational counseling.’ My cousin quit her job because of his erratic behavior, angry outbursts, daunting male ego, and her having to be the custodian of secrets.

    “In 2002, when the Church scandal involving the sexual abuse of minors by the clergy was exposed in the media, I began to experience crying spells, flashbacks, and symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). I’m attending weekly therapy sessions with a psychiatrist, a psychologist and a trauma specialist. Among the residual effects of my years of abuse by Father Ruane are difficulties with intimacy, major depression, an inability to trust, a corruption of my Christian beliefs, blocked access to God, loss of faith, low self esteem, identity confusion, panic attacks, PTSD episodes, suicidal ideation, dissociate flashbacks, debilitating triggers relating to abuse, sense of shame and guilt.

    “For additional support, I have been attending meetings sponsored by the Survivor’s Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP). One of the SNAP members happens to know Father Ruane personally and recently spoke with him about his retirement. She mentioned that he is planning on writing another book. For the sake of his own healing, and for the sake of those he may have abused, I hope this book reflects truth and self-examination around his secret life involving abuse, betrayal, and sin.

    “Another member also mentioned that Father Ruane is having quite a ‘remarkable’ house built down in South Jersey, and that she saw him concelebrating a Mass during Easter Week despite the archdiocese informing me that he can no longer function as a priest in any diocese. Do priests with whom Father Ruane concelebrated Mass realize that they were on an altar with a pedophile?

    “A different priest reported seeing Father Ruane in Rome being interviewed by a roving CNN reporter. He was presenting himself as a priest and was wearing priestly attire — both banned by the archdiocese. The question is: Who’s keeping an eye on him? Does anyone really care? Are safeguards in place so priests like Father Ruane remain in compliance to their restrictions?

    “More recently, the New Jersey Prosecutor’s Office has reported two similar cases of sexual abuse, during the same time frame, citing Father Ruane as the offender. Furthermore, I am told that Father Ruane has undergone treatment at a group facility for priests exhibiting sexually deviant behavior. To my mind, this evidence indicates that his alleged sexual behavior has been a long-standing problem and that there may be many other victims out there who have yet to come forward.

    “Despite my overwhelming fear, I decided my story had to become public. Faced with these facts, the troubling question that remains unanswered is: Why has the Archdiocese of Newark given Father Ruane so much autonomy at the cost of other victims? I regret having fallen into Father Ruane’s trap and remain troubled by how closely he remains protected under the powerful yet shameful wings of Archbishop Myers.

    “I tell you my story as a testimonial that sexual abuse remains a huge problem in the church and in a desire that priests who violate the Church’s trust and injure vulnerable young people for their depraved self-satisfaction should be held accountable, forced to receive treatment, and be removed from all of their ministerial duties so that the possibility of others being harmed is eliminated. I only hope that in the time it took for me to understand Father Ruane’s behavior for what it was — sexual abuse — there have not been others who also have been abused by him.

    “Despite my own feelings of guilt for not speaking out sooner, it is Father Ruane who has sinned and who has committed a crime. I share this with you to demonstrate to others, as well as myself, that no one should have to keep such secrets. For I have come to realize, after a long, hard road, such secrets are kept at a great cost to those who keep them, as well as to those from whom they are kept.”

    © Matt C. Abbott

  20. Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790, 314 645 5915 home, davidgclohessy@gmail.com)

    A predator priest, Fr. Gerald P. Ruane, has passed away. As best we can tell, Newark Archbishop John Myers kept this quiet, denying abuse victims months of comfort. Myers seems incapable of handling any part of the church’s on-going abuse and cover up crisis with honesty and compassion.

    http://www.obitsforlife.com/obituary/1152484/Ruane–Rev-Gerald.php

    Fr. Ruane was accused in 2002 of abusing a boy in 1970s-1980s. A second accuser also stepped forward. Archdiocesan staff “investigated” and found deemed Fr. Ruane “credibly accused.”

    Myers claims to have suspended Fr. Ruane but apparently told no one (or at least few people). So in 2005, Fr. Ruane was still celebrating mass in public, until exposed by the Newark Star-Ledger, in violation of the US bishops’ conference abuse policy. That’s when his name was finally publicly released as a credibly accused child molester. (See BishopAccountability.org for more information.)

    http://www.snapnetwork.org/snap_statements/2010_statements/120610_victims_to_nj_archbishop_house_predator_priests_in_secure_treatment_center.htm

    We have heard from one of Fr. Ruane’s victims, Michael Iatesta, who stumbled across news of the priest’s passing by chance this week. A statement from Michael is below.

    It would have taken Myers minutes to approve and have his public relations team send out a news release about Fr. Ruane’s death. That would have brought relief to those who worried, until now, that Fr. Ruane might still be hurting children.

    We hope this predator’s passing will bring some comfort to those whose lives he devastated. We also hope that someday, Myers might opt for sensitivity over self-serving secrecy. And we hope that anyone who was hurt by any Newark priest, nun, seminarian or other archdiocesan staff will find the courage to speak up, get help, expose predators, protect kids, deter cover ups and start healing.

    Statement by Michael Iatesta, abused as a youngster by Fr. Ruane:
    “As I was looking for my mom’s obituary to send to family and friends I accidentally came across this notification. How ironic it was, in so many ways, that the priest who sexually and emotionally abused me as a young boy was laid out (August, 2015) at the same funeral home just a few months before my mom. In his obituary he was described as one who lived a life devoted to God and served God’s people with great dignity. I know for certain my mom lived a more saintly life and was always selfless in her actions and in her heart-felt service to others. She is resting in peace now knowing that the man she bestowed her trust upon when I was grieving my father’s death could no longer hurt/abuse or take advantage of any other vulnerable young children. She spoke and wrote to me on countless occasions about the guilt she had not knowing therefore not reporting his inappropriate actions. But as a woman of great faith she was able to forgive him for his sins as she taught us through her own actions, faith and devotion that love and forgiveness is what would ultimately bring us all closer to God and eternal happiness. She was a dedicated Catholic who saw everyone as God sees them and touched the lives of countless people in countless ways. She was in a true sense “priestly” and” charismatic'” unlike Ruane who selfishly used and exerted his priestly duties for his own alternative motives.”

    (SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. SNAP was founded in 1988 and has more than 20,000 members. Despite the word “priest” in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)
    Contact – David Clohessy (314-566-9790 cell, davidgclohessy@gmail.com), Barbara Dorris (314-503-0003 cell, bdorris@SNAPnetwork.org), Mark Crawford, SNAP New Jersey Director (732-632-7687, mecrawf@comcast.net)

  21. Thanks for your support in getting this message out. Despite my own inner healing, each day until now, I feared that some young child might fall victim/prey to him (others) and go through what I did. Knowing he passed was a relief to me in so many ways and I hope those who read his obituary and believed him as a holy, kindly, devoted and ” charismatic ” priest will read somewhere the real truth behind his secretarive life and begin to see the beast that lived within him. To say he retired and not defrocked was just one indication of how people can be so easily mislead and see us victims as the ” troubled” ones who are angry, bitter and unforgiving of the church and easily misinterpreting a priests love for a child ( as told to me by those who believed I made up the story) This of course is far from the truth. We are just scarred, concerned and hurt by how the church’s hierarchy continues its cover up in playing its game of child abuse roulette.

  22. Hi I was molestered by a Franciscan monk at nazereth house in Wynnum I was also beaten I saw a girl beaten to death by four nuns we were forced to have boiling hot baths and also we were nearly drown this was in 1970 and we were forced to eat food that was off this went on for 2 years and then my abuse was on going when I left there, at the hands of foster parents who didn’t want me. he raped me and she bashed me and reject me for the 6 years I was there.

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