A few years ago, I read a book titled Raped: Memories of a Catholic Altar Boy. The book is a first-person account given by Larry Monte, a survivor of serial rape by a Catholic priest that began when he was 15 and went on for two years. Dennis Domralzski, a veteran journalist, co-authored the book.
I have read quite a few accounts by survivors of childhood sexual assault by Catholic clergy or nuns – either in the form of books, essays, or articles – and several such works await me on my bookshelves. However, I was drawn to this book immediately after I read it’s title. Raped.
So often, we hear words and phrases like “abuse” and “assault” (as I just used above) that simply fail to convey the actual meaning of such heinous crimes. Larry Monte doesn’t mince words. He was raped…. repeatedly!
Society seems to become outraged when rapes are reported on the evening news, as it should be. Yet, after more than ten years of almost weekly (if not daily) reporting of kids being raped by ordained men and women of the Roman Church, Americans are still not up in arms over these crimes and their cover-ups. Indeed, they barely make the headlines anymore.
Larry Monte and Dennis Domrzalski have surely done their part and I highly recommend their book to all Catholics, Americans, and others.
Below is the review I wrote of Raped: Memories of a Catholic Altar Boy on Amazon.com.
An Affirmation to ex-Catholic; A Call to Catholics Still
If you are still filling the coffers of the Roman Catholic Corporation, at least have the courage and decency to read Larry Monte’s true account of how he was repeatedly raped by one priest and repeatedly assaulted in other ways by more wolves in shepherd’s clothes.
This is not a ‘church’ and those who continue to treat it like a benevolent and Christian institution do so at the risk of their own souls because the facts prove otherwise and Christians are supposed to live in the light of the truth, not in the darkness of evil, lies, and the raping of children.
Monte gives a most honest account, not just of the traumatic events he was forced to endure, but of his deepest feelings along the way. This book is a journey through the eyes and heart of a child who suffered the worst mankind has to offer, all thanks to Roman Catholic, Inc.
This book is beautifully written, in the form of letters to the Church, to fellow survivors, to practicing Catholics, etc. It is written with love, truth, and complete and unabashed honesty. It includes concise information that helps one get a clearer picture of the current (yes, current) Catholic scandal and a quick study on the formation and operation of the Servants of the Paraclete clergy treatment center in New Mexico.
Please, Catholics! Stay home this Sunday and, instead, read a copy of Raped: Memories of a Catholic Altar Boy. Larry endured it. All you are asked to do is read about it. And then act. Jesus never called on his followers to sit on their hands, muzzled and powerless. As Larry reminds us, Christ warned, “In as much as ye have done it to one of the least of these, my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” Ignoring the survivors of priest/nun rape is to ignore Jesus himself. What kind of Christians do that?
God bless you, Larry, for writing this book!
(Note: This review was originally published on Amazon.com on January 1, 2011. At the time, I was a Christian. Today, however, I believe in God, period.)
I’d love to hear your thoughts about this book or the clergy rape scandal or the Roman Catholic Church in general. Please share your comments below.