At the top of the 8AM hour on KFI today:
HANDEL: I've gone on and on about this time and time again, the shame of the Catholic Church is in the numbers, how many priests molested kids, how pervasive it was to the church, and the protection given to the perpetrators, even labeling the victims as the ones at fault, that they're trying to destroy the Church. A lot of victims have filed lawsuits, $660 million awarded in L.A. to 510 people, and Cardinal Transparency aka Roger Mahony still says, we didn't really do anything wrong.
I'm introducing Joe Capozzi a survivor, an artist, actor playwright and he wrote and acts in his one act play, For Pete’s Sake, (Introduces Joe.) Tell us about your story of monsignor Pete.
CAPOZZI: The typical story, he became friends with my family when I was seven or eight years old, the whole grooming process, the abuse started when I was sixteen years old. There’s the physical and emotional abuse, when I was eighteen I realized what was going on. At 16 I’d say he’s just a very affectionate man.
Many times he drugged me. Waking up naked in his bed.
BH: AT AGE SIXTEEN YOU HAD TO KNOW SOMETHING WAS WRONG. HOW DID THAT WORK?
JC: It wasn’t necessarily him saying don't say anything, but I had known him since I was seven years old and he was as close as an immediate family member.
To say something, I figured, would ruin everything and everybody, and I figured, I’ll just be quiet, I figured it was only me, I could handle it and eventually I’d get him out of my life without disrupting everybody. I’d keep the secret. I never thought I’d be on a radio talking about it.
BH: RECAP YOU'RE 18 AND WHAT HAPPENED TO FATHER PETE.
JC: I went public in 2005 and I don't know what happened to Pete. I have no idea. They don't need to keep tracks on him, so I have no idea. Once in a while I’ll hear from someone, from what I hear he is in New Jersey somewhere.
I had to go in front of the Archdiocese Review Board in Newark and for two and a half hours give my story in front of [about ten people?], they found my accusations to be credible. They gave him the option to retire with full benefits and pensions, and his case wasn’t forwarded to the Vatican.
They figured that was justice enough.
BH: WELL THAT'S THE CHURCH. TELL US ABOUT THE PLAY.
JC: It’s me and thirteen of my friends, actors, who play the people in my life as the play takes play. It’s a 75 minute piece. It takes place one night in my room. Three actors play the voices in my head, and they take us on a recap of the twenty years with Father Pete in my life, saying why I didn't say anything, how this affected me, and really, if I could talk to Pete, to ask him why he did what he did.
I wrote it in December 2008 and as of now, I put up readings of it whenever I can, and each time I try to raise money for Road to Recovery, run by Robert Hoatson, an advocate of clergy abuse victims. He’s helped a lot of guys out, and it’s a way to give back to them.
BH: And Your website it Joecapozzi.com is the website.
After the interview, Capozzi off the line, Handel said, "I don't think I would go public like that, I really don't think I would." And I think questioned why people do go public.
It's because some of us have the tools, and the world needs to know, this was not a few priests mistouching a couple boys, this was a decades long neglect that allowed predators to inject themselves into innocent families.
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