One of the victims abused by a priest named in a grand jury report is now speaking out publicly for the first time.
WTAJ News traveled to Philadelphia to meet with Kevin Hoover for this exclusive interview.
Hoover was just nine-years-old when he first became victim to Monsignor Francis McCaa’s repeated sexual abuse.
He sought accountability from Bishop Joseph Adamec years later and is now speaking for other victims.
“Even now, thirty some years later, it’s still very difficult to verbalize that I was sexually abused by Monsignor McCaa.”, said Hoover.
The repeated abuse he endured is only part of the his struggle.
“Here’s this monster who has his hands all over me. How do you justify?”, asked Hoover. “How do you as an adult wrap your mind around the little kids that’s inside God is doing this?”
Hoover remains angered over the cover-up and that the Bishops allowed priests to go back among other children.
“That’s heinous. They’ve allowed and have created a culture where it’s almost acceptable that we’re just going to cover this up.”
Hoover will never forget when McCaa first preyed on him.
“He’d usually tickle and try to hug from behind. Invariably his hands would end up through the clothing or inside our cassock and surplice fondling young men’s genitals.”
The sexual attacks happened inside the sacristy and rectory at Holy Name in Ebensburg. Hoover said they happened regularly and he was not the only victim.
“You’d be bristling and here it comes. be prepared, you know is there a way. If I stand close enough to this table will he be able to grab me then?”
Hoover said the abuse continued until he left for high school in 1985. He repressed all of this, never telling anyone what happened until college. He then began following the Luddy Trial, and the horrific memories resurfaced.
He wrote a letter to then Bishop Adamec and met with him and Monsignor Flinn twice. Kevin remembers Adamec saying, “Msgr McCaa had said it was a difficult period in his life. He didn’t admit, he didn’t deny. I remember thinking to myself, it hasn’t been a cake walk for me either. It’s been an extended difficult period in my life.”
Hoover recalls the anger he felt when Adamec referred to McCaa’s actions as horseplay.
“An adult grabbing a kid’s genitals in never horseplay. That’s criminal.”
Hoover feels very fortunate that he was able to get help and had the support of his family, but nothing can diminish his pain.