Friday, April 30, 2010


A little too dilettante for a priest, that's how I remember him, although last time I saw him I was age seven.

AS SOON AS my dad was buried in 1997, the funeral was over, my mom relaxed, got a salacious grin on her face and said, “Now I wonder where Father Horne is.” Like she’d been daydreaming about him for 50 years.

Also, female family members always remarked that he was “So handsome”then got all dreamy eyed. Fr. Thomas Barry Horne probably had some good sides. I'm beginning to realize the real criminals here were not these sick priests but the people in charge who didn't do anything about it.

Remember, my mom was an atheist, and a former flapper. She married my dad because he was a good catch, a good looking guy working his way through lawschool in the middle of The Great Depression of the 1930s, when mom went from Chicago Art Institute student with money from home to a waitress in Hardings Restaurant, where my dad was manager by day and going to La Salle University at night. My mom, daughter of Polish immigrants who came to the U.S. for their freedom to be atheists, had no clue about my dad's religion

Becoming Catholic came with the marriage for my mom, but she never bought into the god thing at all, and she retained her "free love" ideas from the Roaring Twenties. My mom was the conduit. Her willingness to diddle around with Father Horne while my dad was on business trips, then let the priest watch over her daughters while mom got "the break she so needed" -the door was opened for the predator to get access to the children.

It was late 1940s, early 1950s. People did not talk about any sexual matters in those days. So of course children raped by pedophiles in those years never told anyone about it.

For decades.

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