Friday, 9 July 2010

Chris Patten and the Pope's visit.

So. David Cameron has appointed Chris Patten (or to use his full title, Lord Patten of Barnes) as his personal representative to organiser the Pope's forthcoming visit.

Of course, one of the greatest possible sources of embarrassment from the visit is the possibility that some paedophile scandal will get raised in the press during or just before the visit.

So I'm not sure what David Cameron was thinking of when he appointed Chris Patten, and what Chris Patten was thinking when he accepted, because the appointment makes the raising of the paedophile abuse issue all that much more likely.

Chris Patten is an old boy of St. Benedict's School. He's has the Christopher Patten Cup for "Outstanding Performance at GCSE" named after him, and he is on the board of School Advisors.

This of course is the school where Father David Pearce enjoyed a 36 year paedophile career, whose child protection policy remains a shambles, and where the Abbot, who is also is Chairman of Trustees, refuses to attend a meeting called by the Diocesan Safeguarding Advisor to discuss these matters, and where a supposedly independent review has managed to avoid reviewing almost the whole of the time David Pearce was a monk at the Abbey, and managed to avoid reviewing anything of his career as a teacher at the school.

It is also the school at which John Maestri taught, who has been convicted three times of sexual offences whose victims were boys at the school, and who was sent on his way as he was about to take over as headmaster of the Middle School.

This is the school where the Independent Schools Inspectorate has had to withdraw its most recent inspection report because of concerns over the accuracy of the information provided to it by the school.

This is the school about which the Charity Commission conducted two Statutory Enquiries, the report of which was "severely critical of the Trustees".

This is the school where Father Gregory Chillman has recently mysteriously resigned as a trustee.

This is the school where, according to evidence given in court and not denied, Father Stanislaus Hobbs sexually assaulted a pupil while on a school trip to Italy.

This is the school which in 2006 contested a civil case in respect of accusations of abuse by Father David Pearce and lost, with the judge awarding damages of £43,000.

And Chris Patten is a member of the Board of School Advisers. So he has some degree of responsibility for running the school.

In the light of all this, it seems to me that either:
  • He isn't aware of all these problems, in which case he's not doing much of a job as a School Advisor, or

  • He is aware of all these problems, and has chosen not to do anything about it, in which case I had better not offer my opinion of him, or

  • He is aware of all these problems, and has tried to do something about it and failed, coming up against the intransigence of the Abbot. If this is the case the honourable thing to do would be to publicly resign as a School Advisor, since his name at present is providing cover to a deplorable state of affairs.
It would be nice if Chris Patten would use his present position to help ensure that St. Benedict's does properly clean up its safeguarding procedures, and does set up a proper enquiry.

But I'm not holding my breath waiting for it.

40 comments:

  1. The following, I lifted from a comment on a blog by Ed West at Telegraph Blogs....the original blogger has warned about the content of the Speigel article.....I also warn anyone looking at it, it is graphic and disturbing.

    Will your Skepticism allow you to start a campaign against Daniel Cohn Bendit....???? Or will you wait till he joins a Catholic Monastery before you think he needs his..... COLLAR....FELT .....I hadn't thought of posting here again, but seeing this, I thought you might learn something from this disturbing article.

    I'm away to look at what happened to a Catholic order of Nuns in California back in the 60's when they got mixed up with Freudianism and left wing sexuality.....If you don't mind I'll come back later and post some quite shocking stuff....but not as disturbing as the Speigel article


    chrysostom
    9 hours ago
    Recommended by
    7 people
    Liberals are not in the least interested in the truth. Their hero is The Father of Lies. One can learn much about liberals and child sex abuse from a recent article, in English, in DER SPIEGEL, but it is not for the squeamish:

    http://www.spiegel.de/international/zeitgeist/0...

    Our Lady Help of Christians - pray for us

    ReplyDelete
  2. Here it is, truly shocking stuff, if the link doesn't work Google the title



    Carl Rogers and the IHM Nuns:
    Sensitivity Training, Psychological Warfare and the "Catholic Problem"


    http://www.culturewars.com/CultureWars/1999/rogers.html

    ReplyDelete
  3. Crouchback

    Do you have something to say that is vaguely relevant to the topic of the article?

    ReplyDelete
  4. Let's take a brief look at the school's "advisers" and briefly analyse the independence of mind they bring to any difficult debate the school will periodically need to have.

    I must admit at the outset that I am a fan of the American class system of Governance. Maximum three year terms and no connection to the organisation for 60% of members.

    Christopher Field - Has been an adviser for 17 years. Need one say more. So he hasn't gone native then!

    John Dilger - Imbued in many things catholic and we have no idea how long he has been an "adviser," Does one need to be catholic for this role given that many of the pupils and parents are non catholics?

    Geoff McMullen - An old boy so no independence with him then.

    Brian Taylor - Another old boy so once again no independence with this man.

    Tony Reid - Current parent - well he has no option but to as he is told.

    Philly Codrington - married to an old boy and with two son's both old boys. The token woman among this bunch but with no independence and worse she is being used. Her presence is pathetic.

    Lord Patten of Barnes - well once more another old boy. But what is he other than meaningless veneer when there is a serious work to be done?

    Charles Jonscher - No you'll never guess ......never - what did you say? what was that? Another old boy - how ever did you guess?

    So what do we have here with this bunch. Well for one thing we definately have GROUPTHINK

    The link will reveal to you this fatal problem that inflicts so many school boards and groups of advisers.

    Groupthink is a type of thought within a deeply cohesive group whose members try to minimize conflict and reach consensus without critically testing, analyzing, and evaluating ideas.

    During groupthink, members of the group avoid promoting viewpoints outside the comfort zone of consensus thinking. A variety of motives for this may exist such as a desire to avoid being seen as foolish, or a desire to avoid embarrassing or angering other members of the group. Groupthink may cause groups to make hasty, irrational decisions, where individual doubts are set aside, for fear of upsetting the group’s balance.

    Get any sense of deja vu chaps and madam? There is work to be done and you should be doing it but you probably think "those people will go away." Think on!

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  5. Let's take a brief look at the school's "advisers" and briefly analyse the independence of mind they bring to any difficult debate the school will periodically need to have.

    I must admit at the outset that I am a fan of the American class system of Governance. Maximum three year terms and no connection to the organisation for 60% of members.

    Christopher Field - Has been an adviser for 17 years. Need one say more. So he hasn't gone native then!

    John Dilger - Imbued in many things catholic and we have no idea how long he has been an "adviser," Does one need to be catholic for this role given that many of the pupils and parents are non catholics?

    Geoff McMullen - An old boy so no independence with him then.

    Brian Taylor - Another old boy so once again no independence with this man.

    Tony Reid - Current parent - well he has no option but to as he is told.

    Philly Codrington - married to an old boy and with two son's both old boys. The token woman among this bunch but with no independence and worse she is being used. Her presence is pathetic.

    Lord Patten of Barnes - well once more another old boy. But what is he other than meaningless veneer when there is a serious work to be done?

    Charles Jonscher - No you'll never guess ......never - what did you say? what was that? Another old boy - how ever did you guess?

    So what do we have here with this bunch. Well for one thing we definately have GROUPTHINK

    The link will reveal to you this fatal problem that inflicts so many school boards and groups of advisers.

    Groupthink is a type of thought within a deeply cohesive group whose members try to minimize conflict and reach consensus without critically testing, analyzing, and evaluating ideas.

    During groupthink, members of the group avoid promoting viewpoints outside the comfort zone of consensus thinking. A variety of motives for this may exist such as a desire to avoid being seen as foolish, or a desire to avoid embarrassing or angering other members of the group. Groupthink may cause groups to make hasty, irrational decisions, where individual doubts are set aside, for fear of upsetting the group’s balance.

    Get any sense of deja vu chaps and madam? There is work to be done and you should be doing it but you probably think "those people will go away." Think on!

    ReplyDelete
  6. http://www.stbenedicts.org.uk/?page_id=1347

    and why Patrick Tobin, former HMC Chairman no longer on the panel of advisers?

    ReplyDelete
  7. Groupthink.....Skeptics don't do group think...???

    So letts look at this weeks news, A crazed gun man kills one man, shoots his ex girl friend, the mother of his child, and the mother of other children as well, then after a weeks "siege" shots himself crying that"I don't have a dad"

    A woman throws her self of a cliff, after leaving a note next her dead daughters body....explaining that the four year old drowned....as they do.....but the whole sorry story wouldn't have something to do with the womans divorce would it. You'd need to be pretty skeptical to think so, wouldn't you..??

    And a man is charged with murder after two children die in a suspected arson attack, the mother is seriously injured.....

    So plenty for the concerned skeptic to think about all these children being killed or their parents killing themselves, and all this in the past week.

    Similar things happen every single week in this country, the death toll for children where abuse is a factor is roughly 3 children per week. Google deaths of children due to abuse in America....in 2007 one web site claims that there were over 1700 children killed where abuse was a factor..???..If we take that figure back to 1950, where the John Jay College of Justice report on Catholic Child abuse in America started. And we take it that 2007 was atypical year then we have had roughly 85,000 children dying as a result of abuse.

    America lost 58,000 in Vietnam

    But Skeptics prefer to drum up a case against one Benedictine Monastery where the abusive priest has according to what you say admitted his guilt....is he in jail....I take it he isn't....therefore , why not..??

    Could it be that his abuse was judged by the courts as to not merit a jail sentence ..??

    I take it he didn't abuse his victims to death..?? If he didn't, why don't you go after murderous abusers..??

    After all there seems to be plenty to choose from.

    Or is it a Catholic thing with you Skeptics, and not primarily an abuse issue..??

    I think that's about right..??

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  8. Ah the logical fallacy known commonly as "Red Herring", also commonly described as whataboutery.

    You seem to be arguing that because evil exists outside the catholic church, the evil within it ought not to be addressed.

    You seem to be arguing that because some children are murdered, we should not pursue or punish people who merely rape children.

    I have to say that if this is a common Catholic form of morality, then I'm glad I'm not a Catholic!

    But if you think that I'm getting involved in matters that don't concern me, set your mind at rest. This is of concern to me, as I sent my son to the school for a time. And if you think this is an anti-catholic thing, then also set your mind at rest. I would be doing the same whether the school was Anglican or secular instead.

    And there are many others who are with me - old boys of the school, parents and family members of old boys or current pupils.

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  9. 'we should not pursue or punish people who merely rape children.'

    ---- PRECISELY TO WHOM ARE YOU REFERRING MR WEST?

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  10. Mr West seems to make perfectly clear that he is referring to people who rape children wherever they may be, but I he will no doubt let us know.

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  11. crouchback

    Go and read about Groupthink in the context to which it has to be applied then come back and comment with some understanding of the subject, because at present you are making yourself appear on the "lite" side of wise.

    ReplyDelete
  12. The only side I want to be on is the side of is Truth. I'm not qualified enough to be wise. I guess context has a place in the overall truth of any thing we care to judge. When it comes to abuse of children there has been massive "spinning" of cases against the Catholic Church.

    One instance: BBC PM Show radio 4 opened the show one night with a deaf and dumb witness "speaking" through his daughter. The very first words the daughter said were to say that two American police forces had dropped these cases back in 1974. BBC television 6 O'clock news, headline item the daughter and the father right to camera...."Two police forces dropped the cases back in 1974".....by the time Newsnight and BBC 24 got the story they reported everything......except they edited out the bit about the Police dropping the cases back in 1974...!!!!!
    This type of thing, along with just about every major media company on the planet reporting old cases over and over, along with cases that have been dealt with sometimes years ago over and over cease to be reporting of abuse and become attacks on the church.
    The Confession of a Skeptic blog seems to have only one purpose, to attack one monastery. It seems the people who committed crimes at this monastery are in jail or have served their time.
    I wonder why, when there is so much abuse to occupy the time of people who want to highlight such things, there isn't any mention of other abuses. Or investigations of other abuses, Hackney cant be all that far away from Ealing...wasn't there an abuse scandal there, wasn't the person in charge later elevated to Minister for Children...???
    But not a peep about that, what about a cold case review...???

    Thought not.

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  13. You are once more mistaken. There was a review of the Islington Care Homes cases and a series of trials. This all started with Mr Demetrius Panton having the courage to step forward. Mrs Hodge knowingly ordered the concealment of the abuse when she was Chief Executive. Hodge then had to go to court to apologise to Panton and pay an undisclosed amount of money to him for slander. There is chapter and verse on this and the fact that John Goldup was at the time part of the council's team that was so slated for concealment and incompetance. Now he is quite unbelievably a member of the management team at Ofsted, drafted in because he has "experience" (of the wrong sort) in social care - experience that continues not to be present in any competant sense in Ofsted's managements team.

    You appear to be in denial about child abuse in any catholic setting. You have written a series of trollish posts so I will leave you to babble because you clearly don't know much about the subject but you appear desperate to defend the indefensible with the ludicrous theory that it is a conspiracy of the media. Get help!

    Happy babbling.

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  14. No you did not do as I asked - no new discussion till you understand Groupthink in context.

    Bye

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  15. Crouchback
    I'm not much interested in the Catholic Church, except in as far as its organisation and procedure impinge on the school which my son attended.

    But what I have seen of the Catholic Church's organisation and attitude towards child sex abuse in the context of the running of St. Benedict's School leaves me deeply unimpressed.

    Now, there are two possibilities to consider here. One is that the situation at St. Benedict's is an anomaly, and the way the Catholic Church handles child protection and allegations of child abuse is better everywhere else.

    The other possibility is that St. Benedict's is more or less characteristic of the Catholic Church's approach, and things are as rotten everywhere as the evidence suggests they are at St. Benedict's.

    Now, I have no way of knowing for certain which of these two possibilities is the case (or whether it is somewhere in between these cases). But if St. Benedict's were an anomaly, a stain on an otherwise largely impeccable set of child protection arrangements within the church, I would be expecting the leaders of the church to be straining every sinew to ensure that the standards at St. Benedict's were brought into line with the rest of the church.

    But that doesn't seem to be happening. Archbishop Vincent Nichols has been informed of the problems, but there is no visible sign of urgent action being taken as a result.

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  16. We have not yet had a reply from Mr West regarding his reference to ‘rape’.
    He writes (10th July) of 'people who merely rape children'. Given that, both in law and common parlance, rape is regarded as a very serious crime indeed, to write of merely raping children is a rather bizarre choice of words.

    Furthermore: to most minds, ‘rape’ implies: ’an assault by a person involving sexual intercourse with another person without that person's consent’ which is, I believe, its legal definition.

    Readers of this blog will further assume that Mr West’s accusations are, as usual, directed here at Ealing Abbey. So. the question remains: Who, if anyone, at Ealing Abbey is Mr West accusing of rape? Perhaps, the term was chosen, of course, for purely emotive reasons?

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  17. It was in the context of Crouchback's comment about how many children are murdered. I agree, child rape is a most serious crime, and should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law, no matter who the rapist is.

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  18. What I was trying to point out was that terrible as sex abuse by priests or anyone connected to the church is......these cases are but a tiny fraction of the whole problem.

    The John Jay College of Justice New York university tells us that since 1950 there have been around 10,800 alleged cases of child abuse by priests or religious of which 350 went to trial, 250 convictions and 100 individuals went to jail......

    Recently we heard the there are 39 Million......39 Million.......39....MILLION, Americans who claim to have been abused......has the BBC.....or any other media reported this...??? Google it and check it out for your self.

    Or is it only news when Catholic Priests are involved...???

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  19. Any individual case is only a small fraction of the whole problem. Should each case then not be bothered with? Or should it just not be bothered with if the perpetrator happens to be a Catholic priest?

    Father David Pearce's activities happened at my son's school. The school's child protection measures remain inadequate.

    I can't fix the whole world, nobody can. But if we each individually pay attention to improving our own corner of it, then great improvements can be made cumulatively. I invite you to join me in improving this particular corner.

    And Lord Patten is an Adviser to the school. Therefore it forms part of his corner of the world. It's reasonable to ask what he's doing to improve it.

    What are you doing?

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  20. I'm relieved to see that Mr West acknowledges child rape to be a serious matter and no mere foible. However, his comments of 10th July strongly imply that rape is, or was, an issue at St Benedict's. This is a very serious accusation so could he please substantiate this apparent claim? Who exactly stands accused? Accusations of this sort, if no more than that, are not just irresponsible but could well be subject to legal proceedings.

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  21. I think you might be unaware of irony if you thought my mention of "mere" child rape was intended to suggest that I thought it unimportant. I was highlighting the fact that that Crouchback was giving the impression that he though it unimportant in comparison with child murders.

    As for child rape, yes, I have heard accounts of that. I have encouraged the victims to come forward and make statements to the police, and in some cases at least they have done so. It would be inappropriate to provide specifics, partly because I do not wish to compromise the police investigation, and partly because I must not breach confidences.

    If the Abbey wants to sue me, they know how to find me. But I doubt that they would be so foolish.

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  22. May I first correct the post of 11.05 by providing the correct definition of rape? Offences committed before 1 May 2004 are prosecuted under the Sexual Offences Act 1956. Under the 1956 Act,the statutory definition of rape is any act of non-consensual intercourse by a man with a person, and the victim can be either male or female. Intercourse can be vaginal or anal. It does not include non-consensual oral sex. The courts had defined consent as having its ordinary meaning, and lack of consent could be inferred from the surrounding circumstances, such as submission through fear. It is a defence if the defendant believed that the victim was consenting, even if this belief was unreasonable, and this is a matter of fact for the jury.

    Offences committed on or after 1 May 2004 are prosecuted under the Sexual Offences Act 2003. The 2003 Act extends the definition of rape to include the penetration by a penis of the vagina, anus or mouth of another person. The 2003 Act also changes the law about consent and belief in consent.

    The word "consent" in the context of the offence of rape is now defined in the Sexual Offences Act 2003. A person consents if he or she agrees by choice, and has the freedom and capacity to make that choice. The essence of this definition is the agreement by choice. The law does not require the victim to have resisted physically in order to prove a lack of consent. The question of whether the victim consented is a matter for the jury to decide, although the CPS consider this issue very carefully throughout the life of the case. The prosecutor will take into account evidence of all the circumstances surrounding the offence.

    Poster 15.03 seems to be reading a very different West posting to me. Mr West states:
    You seem to be arguing that because evil exists outside the catholic church, the evil within it ought not to be addressed.
    You seem to be arguing that because some children are murdered, we should not pursue or punish people who merely rape children.

    Where in these remarks is St Benedict's either mentioned or implied. If you claim it is, then according to you he is also implying murder takes place at the school.
    Of course no one is in a position to know whether rape does take place at the school unless of course a victim has told him, but it is perfectly possible it has and may do today, but sadly none of us are presently in a position to know because of confidentiality, data protection, and the fact that even if it is discovered in the school and reported to the school’s administration, no school or institution is under any mandatory requirement in law to report child sexual abuse including rape to any authority including the LADO, police or social services. Furthermore should a school fail to report such crimes there is no sanction for failing to report. The same applies to all schools whether single sex or not, boarding or day, maintained or independent in England, Wales or Scotland. Schools, nurseries, FE Colleges, sports clubs, clubs, faith, healthcare all operate in a fractured unfit for purpose landscape where the victim of abuse whether sexual, physical or emotional is totally unsupported by the existence of any statutory framework. It is the ‘big lie’ created by the last government which will worsen under the current regime. Children have no rights in England.

    Given these facts, and the very sorry safeguarding history that has come to light at St Benedict’s, I for one can easily comprehend the deep concern felt by parents and former pupils about the abysmal safeguarding policy that the school currently promulgates and for which the school seems to expect no criticism. I imagine the policy is only on the school’s website because it became a legal requirement for independent schools early last year.

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  23. No, Mr West I didn’t detect the slightest irony in your statement of 10th July. If irony was intended than it was, given the subject matter, singularly misjudged.

    However, I cannot quite agree that the Abbey would be acting foolishly in taking you to court. What you and others publish on this site is almost entirely unproven being almost entirely hearsay or gossip. To cite just one, recent, instance: you have devoted a huge amount of space attempting to undermine Dom Gregory Chillman. Your efforts, as usual and as one would expect, attracted a number of accusations. One informant even went so far as to state that Fr Gregory’s nefarious activities had been carefully covered up by St Augustine’s for many years.

    This information has, however, proved to be disinformation. Fr Gregory has been fully exonerated and is back performing his priestly and other duties with an entirely unblemished character.

    Perhaps an apology and some explanation are called for? I assure you Mr West, I'm not being ironical!

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  24. Ah well, maybe you don't do irony very well. Do you have anything in writing on the subject of Fr Gregory? Nothing seems to have been put on the Abbey website on the subject.

    And you say that "he is back performing his priestly duties". That would suggest that he was suspended from them for a time. Do you have any further information on that topic?

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  25. Anon at 18.50 (11th July 2010)

    Huge amount of space about Fr Gregory? When and where? - I have only ever seen his name mentioned twice.

    You say:

    "Fr Gregory has been fully exonerated and is back performing his priestly and other duties with an entirely unblemished character."

    If this is correct then I can assume that someone has made a complaint against him and that it has been investigated by either Social Services or the Metropolitan Police Department that normally deals with the Monks of Ealing.

    It would be far better if the Abbot were to issue a clear statement about Fr Gregory.

    Has Father Gregory said a public Mass today in the Abbey Church? If not, then I'll assume that he has been suspended a divinis and he is the subject of an allegation but I digress as the old boy would say...I'll eschew other comment.

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  26. There seems now to be a Tweedledum and Dee act on this blog. A statement from Mr West is immediately trailed by a suspiciously similar back up entry. Or is this just another instance of my not doing irony?

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  27. rE ANON 19:24

    Fr Gregory Chillman is mentioned NOT TWICE but many times on this blog; in letters to the Archbishop, to Mr Turner, etc and, in fact,has an entire posting dedicated to his supposed 'misdeeds': THE CURIOUS CASE OF THE DISAPPEARING TRUSTEE! (June)

    R K

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  28. Why was Gregory suspended / relieved of his position as a trustee?

    He was exonerated apparently, as the poster of 17.46 informs us - of what? If you are allegedly exonerated of something an allegation has to be made. As we know the CPS loathe CSA crimes and want them out of the court system as quickly as possible because they ruin CPS targets - hence the staggeringly poor conviction rate of only 2% of CSA cases resulting in convictions. We then have the paedophile charter created in 2003 - The Selwyn Bell precedent – to assist career paedophiles out of court. Of course victims also find it beyond belief difficult to come forward for completely understandable reasons. A Lancet paper in November 2008 suggested that only 10% of child abuse cases are ever reported. This is probably correct. The estimate from the Lucy Faithfull Foundation and the NSPCC is that the average career paedophile abuses 180 victims in a lifetime and that 1 in 6 children in England are abused before the age of 16.

    Of course the Selwyn Bell precedent is used most often when schools fail to report known events of sexual abuse or the victim is unable to speak about the events and they come to the court’s attention much later. Schools often move members of staff to non-child facing roles within the same institution. Winchester College did this with a member of staff - a former housemaster in order to keep him employed. He left suddenly very recently because of changes to the law with the introduction of SVGA 2006 which meant his presence at the school under the new regulations could no longer be entertained clearly contrary to the schools wishes. This redeployment enabled them not to return a Notification under the Education Acts because he had not been sacked or left of his own volition as a result of behaviour he demonstrated towards children which suggested he was unfitted to work with children. Perhaps this “redeployment” move was used by St Benedict's in order perhaps not to return a Notification under the same Act for Pearce.

    But what do I know?

    Has Chillman been redeployed in an educational role? I merely ask - bearing in mind the new regulations contained in SVGA 2006 would not permit this if he were deemed not to have passed the harm test. If he passed the harm test yet nonetheless has been redeployed elsewhere, when might St Benedict’s consider having to return a Notification under the Education Acts assuming under the rules in the statute there is every reason for St Benedict's to return such a Notification?

    I speculate all this because as 17.46 informs us – Chillman has been exonerated (of something ?).

    Why his sudden disappearance from the board of trustees?

    Was the ISI informed?
    Was the Charity commission informed?
    Was the LADO informed?
    Was the ISA informed?

    Perhaps someone from Mr West’s collection of individual’s should consider writing to all of the above just to make sure St Benedict’s has discharged its obligations because the administration give the impression of being neither morally centred nor honest.

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  29. Should Mr. West be sued for libel, old boys like me will make the trip to the UK to support him in court if required.

    Be very careful what you wish for, monastic posters - it could just come true.

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  30. Likewise old boy!

    This blog is riddled with unsubstantiated accusation, innuendo and pleas for more of the same! Over the past year it has, indeed, generating a considerable volume of smoke. However, some of us, not least those acquainted with theatrical effects, know only too well that there can be a great deal of smoke but NO FIRE!

    Constantly calling 'Fire!'is a very dangerous pursuit.

    - A non-Monastic poster.

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  31. Sex Crimes against children in England:

    April 07 – March 08 20,754

    April 08 – March 09 21,618
    [Source Home Office]

    Between 5% and 10% of girls and up to 5% of boys are exposed to penetrative sexual abuse, and up to 3 times this number are exposed to any type of sexual abuse.

    [Lancet study led by Professor Ruth Gilbert,from University College London Institute of Child Health.]

    A second study, also conducted by Dr. Gilbert and colleagues, shows that in most settings child abuse is significantly underreported — even by schools and community-health services that have continuous contact with
    children.

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  32. FIRE-RAISERS AND SMOKESCREENS

    There's certainly a lot of 'smoke' of one kind or another on this blog, (see above}, 'innuendo and accusation' abound. But, equally there are several instances of inaccurate and/or FALSE reporting. These could, as has been pointed out, well be subject to legal action. If someone decided, that is, that Mr West is worth challenging in this way. Many, if not all, of his readers will,I suspect, see this blog for what it is, rather than what it claims to be. No matter how many statistics are gleaned from The Lancet or other reputable sources, its underlying agenda (of 'calling Fire!) remains unmistakably clear!

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  33. It's just stating facts - no more no less and quite rightly this clearly exercises you as it should exercise us all.

    Another depressing piece of data is that over 40% of all sex crimes reported to the Police involve children who account for only 24% of the population. [Home Office]

    Then remember only 10% of such crimes are reported to the Police.[Lancet]

    The growth in Notifications returned by schools under the Education Acts, on which I've commented previously, is rising at an alarming rate. Between 2001 to 2008 the number of Notifications increased from 1001 - 8728; and increase of 772%
    [Hansard - written answers from successive Children's Ministers]

    These statutory tools are to be completed under the Education Acts, by schools following the departure of a member of staff from a school in circumstances where had they not left of their own volition, they would have been dismissed as a result of their behaviour towards children.

    These depressing facts exist despite there being no mandatory requirement in law for any school to report either allegations or the acts of child sexual abuse to the authorities - LADO, Police or social services.

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  34. For clarity.

    Notifications returned under the Education Acts

    2001 1,007
    2003 1,147 +12%
    2004 1,362 +26%
    2005 2,092 +53%
    2006 2,784 +33%
    2007 4,265 +53%
    2008 8,728 +104%

    [Hansard]

    The figures suggest a disturbing trend and a liklihood that under reporting has long been present. Research indicates little change in the prevalence of child abuse.

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  35. Hmm - anyway, back to Chris Patten - I seem to remember that this blog was about him.

    Just a thought - does anyone know whether Lord Patten (b 1944) was a St Benedict's School contemporary of the young Maurice Pearce... later Fr David?

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  36. So it would seem that there is a vast amount of cases of child abuse, is child abuse at Catholic institutions or by Catholic personages more or less prevalent than at non catholic institutions, or by non catholic personages.....or does the number of cases in Catholic circles co-respond with the numbers in the rest of society.

    Does anyone have any figures or other responses to this..??

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  37. Crouchback
    In terms of ensuring that abuse cannot happen again at St. Benedict's, your question is another case of whataboutery. If you are interested in the question you posed, you are welcome to go and research it.

    But before you do so, could you tell me whether you are in favour of taking measures at St. Benedict's to ensure as far as possible that no further abuse can happen there?

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  38. I live in the North of England. I have no contact with Ealing Abbey. I am an ordinary Joe in the Pew, Tridentine Masses mostly. As far as I know the Catholic Church has put in place Guidelines and procedures for the protection of children and any vulnerable persons. Any institutions where people have concerns should I guess be reported through the channels available. If there are further concerns that have been raised and are deemed not to have been dealt with properly....then I guess that maybe the Police should be informed. If I had such concerns I wouldn't think twice about reporting. As has been noted in other posts, there seems to be some quite technical and legal items that would need taking into consideration. I wouldn't think that a Trial by e-mail, or turning up at the school with placards would get very far. As I've noted before the people who have committed crimes seem to have been dealt with and have or are still serving jail terms.

    I'd be very surprised if Ealing Abbey.....or any other Catholic Institution did not adhere to Child protection guidelines or rules. I'd be even more surprised and shocked if Ealing Abbey or any other Catholic institution NEEDED Measures taken against it

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  39. Crouchback
    If you know nothing of Ealing Abbey, I wonder why it is that you feel that you are justified in assuming the concerns raised are unfounded, or that those raising those concerns are motivated by anti-Catholic malice? That sounds like an an example of precisely the kind of prejudice you are freely accusing others of.

    Try reading the school's child protection policy and comparing it with the CSAS guidelines. Try comparing the Abbot's promise of an "independent review" with what he actually delivered. Once you have availed yourself of some facts, then I would be happy to hear your comment on whether further work needs to be done on child protection there.

    By the way, if you have children who are of school age, it would be sensible for you to take an active interest in the child protection policies of the school they go to, whether or not it is a Catholic school. If the policies are ineffective, a small number of paedophiles in positions of trust (even just one) can do a great deal of damage to a very large number of children. And your children could be among them.

    As for being shocked if any Catholic institution needed measures taken against it, presumably you were shocked at the Ryan Report into what had been happening in the Dublin diocese. But both Dublin and Westminster (and also for that matter your diocese in the north of England) operate under the same code of canon law, and the requirements of civil law are similar in both countries. Why should you expect that a school located within Westminster diocese should be free of the abuses which were so common in Dublin?

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  40. Crouchback and Biteback. What a couple.

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