alibi online
Free Will AstrologyAlibi's Personals
 V.19 No.48 | December 2 - 8, 2010 

Book Review

Bad Faith

An Albuquerque man’s terrifying experience with a pedophile priest

Co-Author Dennis Domrzalski
Co-Author Dennis Domrzalski

Raped: Memories Of A Catholic Altar Boy

Dennis Domrzalski and Larry Monte Jr.
Logan Square Press

Violence is a popular theme in American media, be it news, film or literature. Scores of people routinely die in PG-13 movies. Sexual violence, however, is nearly unspeakable.

That’s what is remarkable about Raped: Memories of a Catholic Altar Boy by former Alibi editor Dennis Domrzalski and Larry Monte Jr. It doesn’t look away.

The book follows the two years Monte was ferried around New Mexico and molested in cheap motel rooms by a priest, and how it affected his life decades ago and to this day. The authors pull no punches. Domrzalski and Monte use brutal terms to relay what happened to the teenaged Monte. I have a strong stomach, but reading this book made me physically ill at times. The scenes could be prurient if they weren’t the excruciating truth.

Monte describes in graphic detail the assaults perpetrated by the family priest—who was deranged, sometimes giving mass immediately following the assaults or saying the rosary on the way to the motel. The priest, who had been kicked out of a seminary back east for molesting children, developed ways of keeping Monte compliant. He would, for example, threaten to take Monte’s younger siblings on the weekend getaways. He once took Monte to a retreat for pedophile priests, as if to show him off to the others.

Domrzalski and Monte use brutal terms to relay what happened … I have a strong stomach … this book made me physically ill.

Raped also follows Monte long after the abuse, when he finds he’s unable to simply “move on.” He feels betrayed by the church that once inspired him to become a priest himself. It’s also no easy task to speak out about the Catholic Church, a powerful institution with an army of followers ready to defend it. Monte eventually won a lawsuit that exposed his assailant, but only after years of despair, alcohol and suicide attempts. You can’t help but commend Monte for telling his story.

Monte offers statistics regarding sexual abuse. Chapters often begin by quoting a priest who warned church authorities about abusive clergy (his concerns apparently went unheeded). Monte’s wife and therapist make appearances to offer their insights.

The writing style itself is repetitive, scattered, even frantic. In another autobiographical piece, this could come off as annoying or amateurish. But it works here. This is the story of a man who obviously suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder. The narrative reveals the inner workings of a mind that is forced to relive what happened, over and over and over again. The pain never recedes and the anxiety he suffers is abundantly clear in the writing—especially when he describes the priest, who is, for lack of a better word, a monster; a man who tells his victim that God wants these horrific things to happen. It is, quite frankly, is just awful to read about. But this is a book that needed to be written.


Today's Events

View the work of internationally recognized Laguna photographer Lee Marmon, New Mexican photographer Sondra Diepen and New Mexican painter Carol L. Adamec. Runs through 6/25.

Field Dressing at Tricklock Performance Laboratory

Pie at Adobe Rose Theater

More Recommended Events ››

  • Select sidebar boxes to add below. You can also click and drag to rearrange the boxes; close using the little X icons on each box. To re-add a box you closed, return to this menu.
  • Because you are not logged in, any changes you make to these boxes will vanish as soon as you click to another page. If you log in, the boxes will stick.
  • Latest Posts
  • Web Exclusives
  • Recent Classifieds
  • Latest User Posts
  • Most Active Users
  • Most Active Stories
  • Calendar Comments
  • Upcoming Alibi Picks
  • Albuquerque
  • Duke City Fix
  • Albuquerque Beer Scene
  • What's Wrong With This Picture?
  • Reddit Albuquerque
  • ABQ Journal Metro
  • ABQrising
  • ABQ Journal Latest News
  • Albuquerque
  • NM and the West
  • New Mexico FBIHOP
  • Democracy for New Mexico
  • Only in New Mexico
  • Mario Burgos
  • Democracy for New Mexico
  • High Country News
  • El Grito
  • NM Politics with Joe Monahan
  • Stephen W. Terrell's Web Log
  • The Net Is Vast and Infinite
  • Slashdot
  • Freedom to Tinker
  • Is there a feed that should be on this list? Tell us about it.