SNAP Connecticut
Survivors' Voices

E-Mail to WELI Radio Show
By Jim H., Survivor and Co-Leader of SNAP CT

The following is the text of an e-mail that I sent to WELI's Paul Pacelli after his afternoon radio show discussed the release of the John Jay Report on Priest Abuse, in February, 2003. The text was read on-air in its entirety the following Monday.

Hi Paul,

I was so tempted to call your show Friday, because I am a survivor of abuse by a Priest. There were so many things that I would love to have commented on, but at this point I must remain anonymous (that's why I'm using this hotmail account with a generic name). It was in the papers almost two years ago, and my abuser has already admitted to "wrong doing in the past," so I will tell you that I was molested by Louis Paturzo in 1976 while an alter boy and student at Blessed Sacrament parish in Hamden, CT.

Your last caller on Friday wondered, "where were the parents in all this stuff." In my own case, I told my parents, who then went to the Pastor. He claimed to be surprised that, "he's still doing that stuff," then reassured my parents that he would take care of it. Seems the Pastor forgot his promise since Paturzo was still a gym teacher, watching little boys take showers after class, and seen driving other alter boys to the movies and amusement parks, more than a year later.

As a recent member of SNAP, I've heard stories from other victims who could not go to their parents because the parents would punish the child for making such accusations about a Holly man, who was often a frequent visitor to the home for meals and social visits.

Also, I've heard of others who, when their parents went to a Bishop, were threatened with legal action against the family for making such accusations.

Indeed there was, and probably remains an, "old boys network" of priests who look out for each other. Also, to some in the ranks, I'm sure the good name of the church takes precedence over some kids who got abused. Much like the blue wall of silence in police departments, I'd call this one the, "black wall."

As far as abuse in other religions and walks of life - children get abused by all types of people. Even heterosexual married's have been convicted of abusing kids, so I don't think the vow of celibacy is responsible to any great extent. I'm sure there are a percentage of people - straight, homosexual, of all races, creeds, and colors; that will tend to abuse children. What makes it so bad with religious institutions is that they preach against this type of activity, but then protect the predators and enable them to continue abusing.

I believe the focus is so great on the Catholic Church in America because they are the "Big boys on the block." They have the greatest numbers of parishioners, as well as significant influence in local, state and national politics, and make for a great target to be brought down in humiliation.

Again, I need to remain anonymous, but if you would like more insight from a victim, contact me at this e-mail address and I will arrange for us to talk over the phone or face to face if you like.

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Connecticut SNAP Chapter
Last Updated: September 14, 2004