I Called Out, Pray for Those Raped by Pedophile Priests. Damaged. Still Trying to Live. Response at My Perpetrator Church Was Silence.

By Kay Ebeling
City of Angels

July 25, 2008

As we drove to morning mass at my perpetrator church Wednesday, we joked we were a vocal act, me in the lead, the three women from Geneva my backup singers. Inside the church, they got to the part where people call out, pray for this, pray for that, and the people say, "Lord hear our prayer." I thought, why not, and bellowed: “For all of us who were raped by pedophile priests as children and as a result live with damaged lives, but we still keep living.”

Silence. I saw bodies in front of me tighten. Silence continued. Finally one of my backup singers cantered, “Lord Hear our prayer” and the people in the church came back to life, responded with her, and they all then went on with their requests. No one looked at me, no one was curious. I know if I’d been in an evangelical church and said that, I’d be surrounded by more women than I'd want to be, wanting to comfort me. Instead, I went outside and talked to God through a tree.

Half hour later I was able to say to the pastor: “There are residual effects. The pedophile epidemic did not just damage the direct victims. Every one of us took our warped sexuality from being raped by priests as children and went out into the world. So there are a lot more victims. Every wife whose husband I went after, every person who I convinced to do something sexually that they otherwise wouldn't have done.”

Father Tom Hoffman came to St. Peter Damian in 2003, he’s been there five years. Father Tom Horne raped my sister and me there from 1949 to 1955, that many years ago, and even though I'm pretty sure my father got a settlement from the Chicago Archdiocese and I know the archdiocese knew what Father Tom Horne did to my sister and me, Father Horne did not leave that parish for another 20 years.

Yet today Father Tom Hoffman, who’s been at the church five years, could say to me in a, “get over it” voice that he’s certain there have been no reports about Father Horne, other than this one now, he’s hearing this for the first time right now as we're talking in the parking lot.

And the Geneva Pietras sang out Dip doo wah, dippy dip doo wah

How I Ended Up Talking To the Pastor in the Parking Lot

I'm still looking for the door to the rectory or something to help me remember it. As Mass continued, I went around the back of the building, and kind of climbed through some bushes so I could peer in a window of this structure that is standing right where the entrance to the old rectory used to be.

“Is there something I can help you with?” Busted. The voice was someone busting me.

This guy walks up in shorts and a fishing hat, looking very civilian so my first thought was oh no here comes a deacon. I shake up and step out of the bushes. “I used to go to this church in the 1950s.” Small talk leads to me saying, “You mean the chapel is the same size as the original church? Isn’t that strange? Usually when a person comes back to a place from their childhood, the place looks so much smaller, but for me, that chapel looks so much bigger.”

The Chapel looks bigger than the original church

Since I used to go there as a kid it should seem smaller

Ah yes, a little pinch from God reminding me that, yes, my life did get turned upside down in that structure

Dip do wah, dippy dip doo wah

As we talk I realize the deacon in Bermuda shorts is Father Tom, the current pastor of St. Peter Damian, who delivered that warped version of Scripture last Sunday (see July 22 post).


He looks a lot like our perpetrator Fr. Horne, Father Thomas Barry Horne, same coloring, same self presentation.

Father Tom as we would have called him in a more informal era. . . .

Dip do wah, dippy dip doo wah

Sometimes when someone who I know truly hates me is in my face, I just channel my father. I become articulate and sharp, think quick on my feet, like he did.

Father Tom came to St. Peter Damian parish in 2003 when things were “in turmoil” because, well Father Lupo had just left thanks to zero tolerance. There were a lot of angry parishioners, said the current Father Tom.

What bothers me is his resemblance to Father Horne. Father Tom Horne.

Before I know it I'm standing behind him, close beside him, and I whisper, "I used to pound on Father Horne’s door. I liked what Father Horne did to me."

Father Tom tensed up and his eyes cast down askance at me.

Shit what am I doing,

I was on the other side of the group quick.

Unintentionally, without hesitation, I was trying to seduce this priest. I was the little girl rubbing up against Father Horne, or I would have been in five more seconds.



The damage is so cellular.

Dip doo wah, dippy dip doo wah

Luckily I had my backup singers with me. The Geneva Pietras. We haven’t written our first song yet, but these three middle class Republican moms from Geneva, Illinois, were with me. And since they stayed through the mass and took communion, they staple gunned the two priests into a corner of the parking lot with me.

They tell me today, it was a good communication, "we made history," that Father Tom Hoffman of St. Peter Damian Church at least was willing to listen.

I felt I had to work too hard to make him listen to me.

So I sing the lead:

Is there a pedophile priest here in this crowd tonight?

And the Pietras sing:

Dip do wah, dippy dip doo wah.

I'm amazed at what a rock of emotional balance I’ve become, or maybe a better word is “control” as in the way an alcoholic in denial “controls” their drinking. Oddly, or serendipitously as life goes, I left this extremely weird and should be earth shaking event in my life, talking to the current pastor of my perpetrator church, and instead of going to a therapy session, or even home to moan and cry and throw things --

I went to lunch.

Then came home and did two more hours work on a video from LA, a really hard one, for marketing software that creates ecosystems and virtual machines, a really complicated tape for my job.

I came home and did my job.

Then when it was done and the document sent, I closed the computer

Then started moaning and throwing things.

I was able to hold onto it for hours and continue to act like a normal human being, even do a really complicated job, with this tumultuos upheaval just underneath wanting to come out.

I controlled it.

Still, I left that Wednesday morning encounter with a lead weight strapped on me, holding me down. Father Tom managed to project enough guilt onto me that for a while in my hotel room, I was seriously wondering why I’m doing this.

So I stuck my head down in between my two stereo speakers, really wondering at the time why I was choosing that particular position, and blasted music in my head.

John Lennon, Because the world is round, it turns me on. Because the world is round. Ah.

Then called someone from Linkup in Chicago and asked, are you sure what I'm doing is worthwhile? Heck yeah it is, he said. So I'm still here.

Towards the end of the conversation in the parking lot, the dear priest was ready to write the whole thing off with a so long, and “I’ll pray for you. I’ll pray for you.” like that would change something. Like I'm not praying every day myself and his prayers will somehow have more influence with the big guy than mine will.I jumped in and said, Praying is not enough. We need action.

Father Tom stepped back, put the palm of his hand over his heart and said, “Now see that, that offends me, because I'm, I'm, I'm, I'm a priest.” My backup singers, the Geneva Pietras jumped in.

Dip doo wah, Dippy doo wah

The Geneva Pietras told Father Tom Hoffman

You better listen to survivors oh, no, no, no, you can’t just jump in with a judgment sir, no-no-no.

The Geneva Pietras had credibility with the pastor as they had sat through the mass and then walked up with Father Walter, the other priest at the church, a little pixie from Poland who is so new to all this.

The Geneva Pietras talked to Father Walter after mass and now he is very enthusiastic about opening a dialogue between the church and survivors.

He's so young. He's so new at all this.

The Geneva Pietras walked up and joined Father Tom and City of Angels Lady and suddenly I had more creds. He had to listen to all of us.

So when he put his hand on his t-shirt over his heart and said to me, "Now that offends me,"

The Pietras jumped in with:

“No, no, no, no"--

You gotta listen Father Tom, you gotta listen. . .

Their conversation continued.

One comment by Rev. Thomas Hoffman made gave him away.

He was trying to make me feel guilty, instead he gave himself away.

"Everyone has a tell" -- James Bond.

As I sat waiting for a Metra the next day it hit me. Father Tom gave it away that he knew who I was and he had read this blog even though he acted like it was all new to him.

In the conversation with the Geneva Pietras, the priests and me, I said,

“Another thing is the imagery, like that statue where is it on the grounds here, with the kids are”-

“That is a statue of Jesus,” exclaimed Father Tom, interjecting, jumping on top of my words like he knew what I was talking about.

Because the world is round it turns me on. Because the world is round. Ah.

Yesterday sitting at Bartlett Station it hit me right out of the blue, He jumped in too fast. He already knew what I was talking about, the statue in front of the church, what I thought was an anonymous saint with kids climbing all over his lap. He said to me, “That's a statue of Jesus,” and he let his real contempt show through.

He was too angry, when he said that.

Yes from the beginning, he claimed he had no idea who I was, or anything that had been written by me about Father Horne and St. Peter Damian Church.

Because the sky is blue it makes me cry, because the sky is blu-u-u-u-u-uuuuue, Ah.

I took him off guard, Father Tom, when I held out my hand and introduced myself.

I said, "I’m here just as a courtesy. You have a right to know that I'm going to be here, and I'm coming back, and I’ll be talking to people, and I’ll be writing some nasty things about your church and crimes that were committed here.”

I asked if I could go through their archives and look for pictures of my father.

He said, “I’ll think about it."

I said “Oh, is that statue supposed to be Jesus?”

For a good 24 hours I hankered over whether I should take down the picture from that July 22nd post.


Jesus isn’t in the statue. In fact, I put a call out here right now to my readers.

Is there any passage in the New Testament that brings to mind the image of Jesus sitting somewhere with children climbing all over him?

I’m in my hotel room with my speakers up against each ear, John Lennon full blast, “Here comes the sun, and I know, it’s alright.” I have the volume at max and still had to stick my head right up in between the speakers and still it wasn’t really loud enough.

Now I'm in the what I should have said stage of the conversation, which started a few hours later.

I should have said,

“Well now you have gotten a report about two people who were sexually assaulted as children by Father Horne, my sister and me.

Write it down.”

I should have said:

“You're offended? I’m talking about rape of two little girls when they were at the age you study for First Confession."

What I should have said:

The church empowered pedophiles everywhere by protecting its own.

So now:

There is an epidemic of pedophilia in the USA today, because pedophiles saw Catholic priests getting away with it.

The church today is directly responsible for children being taken out of their homes, raped, and then murdered today.

The church empowered pedophiles across the world, by pampering and protecting the pedophiles in its own seminaries and parishes.

Because the wind is high it blows my mind. Because the wind is high. Ah. . .

You're offended?


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