A Lot of People Got Angry after Reading Last Post Here, Writing, My Perp Was a Scout Leader Too, and There Is No Justice in PA

By Kay Ebeling
City of Angels
January 17, 2009

(The Jan. 14 post about Peter Dunne provoked a peppering of emails. Here are three letters from City of Angels readers, including an encounter with Dunne in the seminary, by author Tom Barnes.)

What the hell, Kay, you think this makes you angry! What about my story where Fr. Cotter was the Boy Scout Leader as well and he went swimming nude with the Scouts and was in charge of the altar boys and the CYO.

The Assistant Scoutmaster was also a pedophile. When my lawyers went to talk to them about Cotter the Scouts said they never even heard of him. But I have pictures of Cotter in his Scout uniform on the altar of my church. I have papers settling with the Scouts out of court. The Boy Scouts and the Catholic Church are so fucking embedded with each other it is enough to make you puke.

The church scandal has given the Scouts enough time to burn their records. It is a huge story that needs to be told!!!!!!!!!!!!! It makes me so mad I cannot even begin to tell you how upset this has made me. I have been saying this for years but to no avail. All those people who know the truth about what Cotter did are getting old but I do not think they could ever forget.

Do you know they even transferred him to another church and let him be involved with Scouting again, Fuckers fuckers fuckers.

Robert Costello



No wonder survivors of clergy abuse in PA need to file claims in other states -

You Can't Find Justice in Philadelphia

Dear Editor,

Children never were and may never be safe in the Commonwealth of PA. With no window for the statute of limitations for sexually abused children and with PA senators and legislators more concerned about protecting dogs and cats, little wonder that survivors of clergy abuse at the hands of PA Pedophile priests need to file claims in other states and in federal courts. In PA you canít find justice.

This message will be sent to a majority of PA State Senators (and I expect no response) as well as every media outlet in PA.

Mike Ference


(COOL: He also sent the entire Jan. 14 post to all those people. Readership!)


He had the presence of a freaking vampire

As For Peter Dunne, he gave me the willies

Dear Kay,

As for Peter Dunne, believe it or not, when I was a seminarian at St. Charles a friend of mine in that class, a guy who was two or three years older than the rest of us, spoke incessantly about how wonderful Dunne was. This guy adored Dunne. He was a real big fan and had spent time up at that summer camp with him. I only met Dunne once. I was a seminarian. He gave me the willies. He had the presence of a freaking vampire. I have to agree with you. I cannot imagine that nobody knew what was happening. The guy was weird beyond belief.

Tom Barnes,

Author, "The McGurk"

(I emailed back to Barnes, tell me more about Dunne and Barnes wrote more:)

Well I only met the guy once for a few minutes. A seminary classmate who was a follower of his introduced me to him. He gave me the willies. He looked, walked and had the appearance of a freaking vampire.

You have to understand how things were in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia in 1970. Vatican II was only over about five or six years and any clerics or nuns in power had taken vows in the 1940s or earlier. Philadelphia Catholicism is very traditional even today. One never questioned a priest or nun about anything. They were gods and goddesses. They were not to be questioned by mere mortals like you and me. They were above that. And they knew it and they played to that strong hand 24/7. That still goes on in Philadelphia to this very day.

Dunne had a following. He was seen as some sort of savior for boys who came from broken homes. The Archdiocese was quite proud of him and gave him free reign. To see these pedophiles as the monsters they are and were is a little misleading. That is using year 2009 eyes to view things in 1970 or 1960 or 1950. It is not intellectually appropriate to do that. That is not really how it was. The situation was much foggier than this. It was not clear cut. Everybody had a Boystown view of this guy. If anyone knew or suspected he was a pedophile, it was not apparent in the leeway that he was given by the Archdiocese.

'Dunne had a following. He was seen as some sort of savior for boys'

(Tom Barnes response continued:)

Dunne literally scared me to death when I met him. I was in his presence once for less than five minutes and I got the impression the guy was, frankly speaking, nuts. He had the cold and empty stare of a manic depressive. He actually looked like a vampire. He seemed to have a hunch, he walked with a slightly stopped gait, he was more than a tad homely and frankly he had absolutely zero personality. But the boys loved him, and I mean literally adored this guy. And my guess would be because they were all working class boys from odd families with estranged parents and Dunne actually talked to them, his grooming of these boys worked. It is really as simple as that. It was no deeper than that I would think.

Pedophile Priests Are Monsters

These people are monsters and evil not because they are incredibly different and outlandish. They are monsters and evil because they learned somehow to take something as mundane as slight interest in a pre-teenage boy or teenage boy and turn it ever so slowly to their sick advantage. Dunne stayed away (as far as I can tell) from the wealthy, the informed, the powerful Catholics in Philadelphia. If I remember this correctly, his whole appeal to the Archdiocese was that he worked with "troubled boys". Now, who better to take advantage of than an already half-nuts "troubled boy"?

That is pretty much how I remember Peter Dunne and the archdiocese's treatment of him. This was not secret. It did not have to be. It was typical, subservience on the part of the typical working class Philadelphia Catholic. They have no one to blame but themselves. They made a god out of a man.

Tom Barnes

Author, "The McGurk"

(We have a reviewers' copy of The McGurk and will be writing about it soon, it looks good.)


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