The Hidden Abuse
Interview with Michael Schulte

The [Wilmington DE] News Journal
November 21, 2005

Streaming video available under "Multimedia" at:

[Transcribed by from the streaming video.]

[See links to other articles, documents, and transcripts of interviews in this series.]

Michael Schulte, 57, of Newport, was raped by a priest (whose name we are not printing) in the early 1960s when he was a middle school student.

Michael Schulte recounts the first time he was raped by a priest on a trip to Philadelphia.

My mother was approached, and they said, "Well, you know what, he's got [inaudible] his investments in Philadelphia, it's only thirty, forty miles up the road, and would you like to go with him, and this would be a good opportunity for you to observe, you know, 'something godly'." And my mother basically said, "Oh, that's a great idea."

That never should have happened. There shouldn't have been a priest and a person of my age going to an environment.... Granted, you know, it looked good on paper. We went to the theater; we saw a movie The King of Kings. He took me to dinner. I think it was filet mignon, that's the first time I ever had it. I came from a large family; there was eight of us, eight children in the family, but -- wow, this is really great. The room, it was, you know, way up there in like the 13th floor. You know, here I am, the second-oldest in the family, and I'm being treated like royalty.

I really really wish I knew what he gave me to sedate me. When this first event occurred, and we'd been in ... there's two beds, but I'm face-down in the bed, and I'm trying to wake up, and I can't, and I'm trying to get him off of me, I'm face-down, and there's a couple thoughts going through my mind. Why is he in my bed, and why can't I wake up, and why can't I get him off of me? I knew it happened, but I didn't ask him why it happened. And he in his smug face, I want to use the expression "Mona Lisa," he said, "How'd you sleep, last night?"

I was going over in my mind, I said, I can't believe this happened, I can't believe this happened, you know what I'm saying? And naturally everybody's in denial. My mother's in denial, my father's in denial. They took it really bad. Now, I gotta say, my dad was a staunch German, but he stood behind me a hundred percent. And my mom was behind me too. I don't want you to think that she wasn't behind me. But what I'm saying is, it was just a complete utter shock to her that something like that could happen.

Schulte recounts a meeting with Rev. Douglas Dempster, who was investigating abuse claims for the Wilmington Dio[c]ese.

He says, "How f***ing far is this going to go?" And I was like, this is a Roman Catholic priest, I can't believe he said that. And I told him basically everything that happened. And again, I was pretty much told just to be quiet about everything, and the church would take care of it. But you got to remember, the church is like any large organization. I'm sure they have their restraints, and there's somebody up there saying, "Whoa, you're going a little bit too far there, monsignor, we need to have a little more data, or just let it die."

I think the church is making a big mistake because they're in the business to save souls. There's not a whole lot of us that are going to be saved, but right now, they're turning people off. They may have a nucleus of people that are in denial, that said, "Oh, this never really happened," or "I've heard of it, but I don't believe it."

I'm telling you, it happens.


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