Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Father Gregory Chillman

I have just had confirmation from the Diocese of Westminster of the following facts.

Father Gregory Chillman has been arrested in connection with complaints of sexual abuse at St. Benedict's School.

The complaints are the subject of a continuing investigation by police and Social Services.

He is presently on a restricted ministry.

I've separately learned that in addition to having recently resigned as a Trustee of St. Benedict's, he has also resigned as Chairman of Governors of St. Augustine's Priory School.


  1. This is completely untrue, please speak to the Diocese of Westminster again and remove this slander

  2. Really, which bits are untrue?

  3. He was not arrested. He is not on restricted Ministry. There is no continuing investigation.

    He has retired as Trustee of St Benedict's.

    His term of office has come to its natural end as Chairman of Governors of St Augustine's Priory School.

    Have you really only just spoken to Westminster? I have contacted them just now and they do not agree with your statement.

  4. I'm quite certain of my information, which confirms what I have received from other sources. I wouldn't publish something like this unconfirmed.

    So is the Abbot going to make a public statement, or are we to rely on anonymous comments for assurances that all is well with Father Gregory?

    Alternatively, if the Abbot would care to contact me to advise me in person of the true situation, he has both my email address and my phone number. I'll be happy to publish anything he wishes to say on the subject.

    I'd welcome the opportunity to meet with the Abbot, I have lots of questions I would like to ask him, but he seems to have been somewhat shy of being in the same room as me.

  5. I have no idea what the Abbot is or isn't going to do, why don't you phone him? I have no connection with him apart from being an Ealing Parishioner.

    I do know that Fr Gregory celebrated Mass at Ealing Abbey on Saturday and as I have stated before there is no police charge and he is not on restricted Ministry.

  6. That he celebrated mass doesn't mean that he's not on restricted ministry - it would depend on what the restrictions consist of.

    And that he has not been charged doesn't mean that he hasn't been arrested. It is not uncommon for a person arrested to be released without charge pending further investigations.

    As for speaking with the Abbot - I would love to, but he won't speak to me. Next time you see him, do please ask him to give me a call.

  7. Look, restricted ministry would mean he could not say Mass in Public. He did. At the weekend. Check your facts. He has not been "charged". Double check with Ealing Safeguarding, the police and your pen pal Mr Turner. It may be that someone is deliberately giving you false information. Name your source!

  8. Ah, so you are amending your claim that he was not arrested to that he was not charged. Glad we've got that out of the way.

    And its nice to get confirmation that he is no longer a Trustee of St. Benedict's or Chairman of Governors at St. Augustine's Priory.

    I have full confidence in my information, but it may be that the Abbot hasn't yet informed the diocese that he has lifted the restrictions on Fr Gregory. It wouldn't be the first time that there was a lack of perfect communication between them.

    But it would be nice if I knew who I was talking to. Would you care to tell me your name?

  9. No. I'm not amending. He was not arrested or charged. Glad to get that out of the way!
    You may be confident in your information but that doesnt make a wrong fact a right one.
    I havent said anything to you about him being a trustee or chairman, Different anon. Dont know about that!

  10. I stand by my original statement. If the Abbot would care to contact me, I would be happy to speak to him.

  11. Be real. The abbot is not going to suddenly contact you. You are publishing something which is false, Dont hide behind the invisible abbot. Be brave. Cite your source!

  12. You're really one to lecture me on bravery when you won't even offer your name, and the Abbot won't meet me.

  13. I am truly sorry that the abbot wont meet you. martina in cowardly mode, I fear. Nevertheless that of itself doesnt make your false statements about Fr Chillman true. You really do need to have a second thought about your sources on this one. You are being used.

  14. I'm not being used - I know my sources well enough to know if that were a possibility.

    If I'm being used, that would suggest I'm being used by the Archdiocese to spread lies about the Abbey. Are you seriously suggesting that is happening? Do please tell me about it. I'm all ears!

  15. Name your sources. I am all ears.
    If you suspect there is any truth in all of this, get off this computer and phone the police...now

  16. Ah, the old tactic of saying "don't publish this, go to the police instead". Anything to prevent embarrassing information becoming public.

    Of course, I am in touch with the police, and I encourage any victims who contact me to come forward and make a statement to the police.

    What diversionary tactic would you like to try next?

  17. From his various rantings, its pretty obvious that Mr West is obsessive but low on substance. He is misguided. There is no reason why the Abbot should answer his questions. Who does he think he is? I hope he hears from the Abbey solicitors as he has certainly gone too far this time - and not for the first time.

  18. Ah, the ad hominem attack. I wonder what is next?

  19. Concerns 1
    Forgive me firstly for moving slightly outside the current discussion area and secondly for the length of this post.
    The posting on the 9th July titled Chris Patten and the Pope's visit was particularly lively with a number of "Abbeyvista’s” making contributions. Among the comments was one on the 11th July @17.46 which said:
    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...................This information has, however, proved to be disinformation. Fr Gregory has been fully exonerated ............
    Perhaps an apology and some explanation are called for?

    Subsequent posters asked exonerated "by who?" and "of what?" Sadly the “Abbeyvista” remained silent, clearly unwilling to explain him/herself but happy to scream “foul” and then run for the exit which demonstrates no commitment to his posting. Abbeyvista’s have in this strand returned to cry ‘foul’ but have still not indicated the soundness of their evidence and so it goes on. An individual who has been arrested for ‘sensitive’ allegations is unlikely to make any truthful admission particularly if they are a cleric. So until the anonymous posters ‘ put up’ one is left with no option but to dismiss them. Not so for West who can always be sued for libel (not slander as suggested) if he is mistaken. That puts him in pole position. We also see no Abbeyvistas’ commenting on the dodgy safeguarding policy promulgated by St Benedict’s– just silence which carries with it a certain acknowledgement of West’s claims regarding its chocolate teapot effectiveness.
    On a site like this where West does not hide behind a pseudonym, one would have to be a bit dense to believe he is going to publish anything which he does check, check again, and then once more to be certain. I can therefore understand Abbeyvistas’ getting a bit nervous of West’s site because were it not for this member of the blogosphere we would all know and understand far less about the culture of a Trust that is responsible for the care and protection of 1400 children every day during term time at two sites I believe.
    What are we learning from West’s bolgsite?
    > Safeguarding at the Trust appears to be a low priority. The state of St Benedict’s policy tells us this. One only has to be partially safeguarding literate to see a spectacular number of holes contained within it none of which serve to protect children.
    > With this in mind I’ve scanned St Augustine’s following its recent overhaul. It appears designed to confuse. I’ve yet to look at it fully but cutting to key areas there are serious contradictions contained in its pages. A parent reading this would be disinclined to ask questions because it is confusing and intimidatory. Some of the inclusions are novel and would permit a morally corrupt institution to disincline parents from permitting abuse to be reported to the authorities. (Before anyone hyperventilates, I am neither suggesting this is intended nor that St Augustine’s is morally corrupt). In reality I do not believe they understand the serious flaws of the document and I have specific reason for saying this, yet it is allegedly authored by the institution and approved by the Governors who are responsible for its effectiveness in the school. Extraordinary.

  20. 13 July 2010 22:24 wrote:

    " If you suspect there is any truth in all of this, get off this computer and phone the police...now."

    You'd like Mr West to contact the Police to report to them that they have arrested Greg?

    Have you just come back from the Men's Club?

    The Abbot can and should make a public statement about Fr Gregory.

  21. Concerns 2
    > The Trust demonstrates little determination to embed an effective culture of safeguarding in St Benedict’s as the repeated rejection of polite requests to meet by West implies. West seems only to want to meet about safeguarding concerns that the Trust clearly does not wish to address . Why not? What goes for St Benedicts applies equally to St Augustine’s. Do they want West as a permablogger getting bigger by the day so that Skeptic appears each time there is a search for either school. Its crackers from where I site because it is the Trust’s credibility that is atrophying. West has nothing to lose. You could close it down at a push but it is challenging and unwise because like a mushroom he can pop up again tomorrow.
    > Why is the Trust refusing to communicate? It does perplex me but perhaps it is because the questioners appear topic literate. In such circumstances organisations which possess little confidence in their abilities tend to reject such approaches. Even when Shipperlee was invited on the BBC programme ‘Sunday’ he insisted on knowing all the questions well in advance as the programme host explained. Shipperlee is ill at ease with the subject and certainly ill equipped for the deep waters in which he finds himself.
    > The Trust displays a siege mentality which stems directly from its refusal to communicate. “They’re all wrong” is the attitude that seems to emanate from the negative responses to West.
    > Vincent Nichols’s rhetoric that he can instil safeguarding discipline across the Catholic estate in England is a fantasy as a posting on this site quoting a reply from him via CSAS made clear. Nichols is part of the increasing problem that exists in West London because as we have read on this site Peter Turner (CSAS) tells us that Ealing Abbey in not part of Nichols’s responsibility. This confirms that West the Disney script! So what happens if your child is abused and the Abbott and his board of Trustees will not see you? Think about it.
    > The seat of the problem is the board of Trustees of Ealing Abbey. The only people that can sack a Trustee is the board of trustees. In other words a putsch is required if change is to occur. Think of the dynamics of the board of the Abbey in the present deep water. The Charity commission will only become involved to remove trustees if fiduciary irregularities come to light. This makes a useless board that for example refuses to face up to safeguarding responsibilities almost indestructible. A board which is inept and incompetent on child protection will remain so until death. You can only instil change with those who are willing to embrace it. Safeguarding dinosaurs have no desire to change because they do not have the mental capacity to cope with it. The Catholic Church is the perfect example of the problem. And I for one cannot see Shipperlee becoming a beacon of safeguarding change in the Catholic Church. Why? Well a leader is needed who can break the default’s that exist and any man who insists on knowing all the questions well in advance, for a soft BBC radio interview at 7am on a Sunday morning, which is hosted by a man who was himself educated at a Benedictine school, does not strike me as someone capable of leadership.


    What an amazing site this is! It offers one of the richest seams any psychologist could wish for. Masterminded by Mr West and one or two others who, like him, see themselves as knights in shining armour! In reality, however, they are, like Quixote, simply oblivious to their own shortcomings.

    The Swiss psychologist, Carl Gustav Jung, constantly warned against the awesome powers of the unconscious, particularly that aspect of it he calls the Shadow. This is the dark, unacknowledged and, hence, largely unknown ‘negative’ aspect of the psyche, or at least that aspect in which we fail to detect any real goodness. Where the Shadow remains Shadow – i.e. where it lacks any meaningful contact with consciousness - ‘projection’ rules. We see our Shadow, we are in fact particularly attuned to it, but only at a safe distance in other people!
    So, for example, while several contributors to this blog regularly accuse the Abbot of Ealing of not responding to their demands (which of course he cannot do, even if he wish to, for matters are now in the hands of other authorities such as the Archdiocese and the police) they themselves resolutely refuse to answer any significant questions addressed to them. For instance, instead of responding to the many uncomfortable charges put to him, Mr West chooses to open yet another posting, his 9th this month, to rehearse material that he has posted umpteen times before. One charge laid at his door is quite clear, that he himself is the author of almost all the 'smoke and fire’ that infest his blog.

    He and friends might like to ponder another aspect of Jung's insight into the mechanism of projection. In almost all cases, says Jung, the faults, crimes, sins and shortcomings that we readily see in others and accuse of are precisely those sins and shortcomings which most torment our own unconscious selves!

    It would seem that its time either for some meaningful therapy or some honest-to-God soul searching - not, for a change, on behalf of others! Whatever the psychological interest of this site, its cant and hypocrisy are quite sickening!

  23. Concerns expressed clearly are responded to with shrill personal insults and psychobabble.

    Let's hope the quality of reply rises and the Trust addresses the public interest concerns that Mr West and others have.

    Supporters of the Trust posting on this site cast a disturbing reflection on it.

  24. The above is 'babble' of a pure and unadulterated variety from one of those 'knights in shining armour' whose own, unsubstantiated, 'insults' verge on pure slander!

  25. You are mistaken again and this is a technical correction only. You allege slander which is incorrect - you mean to allege libel. You have either not read or perhaps misunderstood an earlier post.

    It is for the party(ies) who has been allegedly libelled to take action against Mr West - he posts in his own name and is known to the Trust. If what he writes is disputed action can if needed, be taken by allegedly injured party's (ies). This does not seem to be getting through to you. We have no need for your continued posts in the same vein because it is a given.

    So your obsession dealt with, what of the key matters which flow from Mr West's blog and which take up much more space on this site - the unfit for purpose safeguarding policy at St Benedict's?

  26. A note for the perplexed:

    SLANDER is spoken and not written.

    One cannot in a legal sense accuse someone, therefore, of slander if his or her slanderous accusations are written and not spoken. Written material of this kind = LIBEL.

    The difference is, as we see, largely a nicety of language.

  27. Mr West is on perfectly safe ground, as he well knows, whenever he retreats or returns to the issue of the 'safeguarding policy at St Benedict's'. Here he might or might not be right. It's essentially a matter of definition and opinion can be honestly divided on just how sound or unsound the current safeguards at St Benedict's are.

  28. Well done, correction made. It's a matter of detail which is important. Slander is challenging to prove, libel far less so. We can all easily make errors of detail and I am merely assisting.

    And what of the key question in my last post requesting your comments on the current Safeguarding policy at St Benedict's? This afterall is the important matter given the appalling safeguarding history of the school?

  29. Lèse majesté

    The above posting makes an excellent point. However, Mr West's legitimate concern about one particular matter does not give him a licence to kill! Nor is his blog some kind of court to which anyone can be summoned. Life does not - fortunately or unfortunately - revolve around Mr West and, in all such matters, due process has to be respected.

  30. Poster at 08.59 should understand that safeguarding policies are not a matter of ‘opinion’ but a matter of fact.

    The difference between a policy that achieves protection of children is clear to see. But it then has to be made to work.

    An exemplar safeguarding policy is clearly identifiable and accounts for the failures of primary legislation by providing a clear written undertaking to parents.
    None of that is present in the St Benedict’s policy

  31. Lèse majesté

    I agree with some of the points you make. But if you have evidence based concerns about Safeguarding and the source of those concerns refuses to engage for reasons stated on this site - what do you do? You ask the questions in a more public setting for there is no alternative. By refusing to engage the Trustees have visited this upon themselves by not accounting for the blogosphere.

  32. I don't think one can complain about anyone's attempts to ensure the maximum safety of children. However, the way to achieve that goal is not to mount or support a sustained and uncontrolled campaign of hatred. The bulk of this site is not given to discussing exactly how to tighten St Benedict's protection policy. On the contrary, more often than not it is a rant against individuals, Ealing Abbey, its school and the Catholic Church. None of this helps in the least but is hugely damaging especially, I would have thought, to the ranters themselves!

  33. A policy is surely not a brute fact. It can be devised in diverse ways to serve diverse ends and whatever its wording, it will, in all probability, not satisfy everyone. Unlike brute facts,such,I'm afraid, is the nature of human life!

  34. To the 09:45 commenter - do please contact me by email and join me in working out a better way to ensure that the child protection measures at the school are improved.

    I promise that as soon as I'm satisfied that the policy is fit for its purpose, is being implemented, and that the improvements are here to stay, you will hear nothing but praise from me concerning how much things have been turned around.

    The Abbot could have saved himself a lot of trouble by instituting the independent review he promised, and by responding to me back in October last year when I initially emailed him with my concerns as to the state of the child protection measures. Instead he has been obstructive at every turn. If you know of a way of changing this, then I would be very happy to co-operate with you to achieve the necessary improvements.

  35. An epic rant at 09.56!

  36. How boring and unoriginal. Can't you manage a better insult than that?

  37. The contributions of the Abbeyvistas is not making a positive contribution to the reputation of the Abbey, the Trust and its orbit operations, or the administration of that community.

  38. 10:08 - What on earth do you think you are talking about?

  39. Just to say Mr West the 10.00 comment was NOT made by the 9.45 Commentator! Which may of course already have guessed?

  40. SORRY > '...you may already have guessed?

  41. It's a bit hard to keep track of all these anonymous commentators.

    Perhaps you would care to demonstrate the bravery you say you are asking of me, and identify yourselves when you post comments? Though of course no bravery is required on your part. I'm not going to come after you.

  42. As you say Mr West 'no bravery is required. It is not, in fact, a matter of 'bravery' but of choice.

  43. Choice. Yes, quite.

    And others, seeing your choice, can choose for themselves how much credence to put into your comments.

  44. That surely applies to every comment on this blog, Mr West. At least my comments say what I think, they do not indulge in speculating about what others think or should think.

  45. I feel sure you're in the process of devising some wonderfully 'crushing' reply Mr West, but I'm afraid, for the moment at least, I have to sign off. Some of us do have other things to do!

  46. A QUESTION :

    Has there been any apology for, or retraction of the many fallacious accusations levelled against Fr Gregory Chillman on this blog? If not why not?

  47. Still no contributions from those who concentrate on the irrelevant personal insults, to the key questions being asked about the 'safeguarding' policy promulgated by the Trustees that is meant to protect children in the care of the Trust.

  48. Re: 13:01 no one would dream of addressing such matters on this blog. Apart from it being a totally unsuitable arena it's an arena that has lost all credibility!

  49. May I repeat the above question?

    Has there been any apology for, or retraction of the many fallacious accusations levelled against Fr Gregory Chillman on this blog? If not why not?

  50. The answer my friend is, of course, NO. As to WHY NOT you'll have to wait for 'the Godfather' to come back on steam. But,if your out for a straightforward answer,I wouldn't, as the saying goes, hold my breath.

  51. Ah, we are now working through the standard set of logical fallacies. We have the Argument from Bare Assertion just above, and earlier we have had the Red Herring Argument. Do please carry on as much as you like. The more comments you provide, the busier the blog is, and the higher it comes up the Google rankings, and so more people will find the blog as a result of a websearch.

    The number of visits has more than doubled over the last 3 days, and pageviews have almost trebled over the same period. Almost all of the increase has been as a result of extra traffic from websearches.

    Thank you so much for helping to attract the extra traffic here, and so making it such an effective public forum for discussing safeguarding issues at St. Benedict's and Ealing Abbey. I really do appreciate your comments - all of them.

  52. Great news, Mr West! Given what you say, more and more people will come realize exactly what you and your blog are really about.

  53. We shall keep posting Mr West!

    In the meantime, for the sake your new readers, perhaps you'd like to respond to the question posted twice above, at 13.01 and again at 13.13?

  54. Oh and 'precisely' if you don't mind!

  55. Still no contributions from those who concentrate on the irrelevant personal insults, to the key questions being asked about the 'safeguarding' policy promulgated by the Trustees that is meant to protect children in the care of the Trust.

  56. I see that we now have the "fallacy of presupposition", also known as the "when did you stop beating your wife" fallacy, where a commenter (anonymous as usual) is asking about the "fallacious accusations levelled against Fr Gregory" without actually making any attempt at demonstrating their falsity.

    We are making quite a collection of the logical fallacies today! Keep up the good work!

  57. Oh dear, Mr West you're weakening! Not surprisingly so, as a desert of Quick Sand is slowly engulfing you!

    But, what the Hell, open another cracker and read out your latest fortune cookie! We have all the time in the world to see you sink, weighed down by your bumper book of logical fallacies! Maybe, just maybe, as you disappear beneath the sands you'll utter one, honest, heartfelt cry!

    Yes, Mr West, you have become a figure of fun!


    Whatever comfort Mr West may derive from what the above post calls his 'Bumper Book', there are many people awaiting his reply to some VERY SERIOUS questions. How come he cannot answer them? Perhaps the simple answer is that he can no longer afford to take his own blog seriously?

    Mr West may well disappear, but the QUESTIONS will not!

  59. Mr West must surely see that his evasive, 'undergraduate' references to 'fallacies' are getting him absolutely nowhere. His attempted camouflage reveals far more that it covers.

    Please, do give your readers some credit, Mr West, we're not, I assure you, a bunch of junior school kids!

    - A Profoundly Unimpressed Reader

  60. Mr West,

    I think for the benefit of progressing sensible and serious debate on safeguarding at St Benedict's, it will be necessary to rid the site of the 'screamers' who do not want a debate, and who are hell bent on stopping one happening.

    You have been open and thoroughly democratic with your blog. A speakers corner approach, but it is now attracting those elements which inevitably ruin an important debate through being tiresomely disruptive. It is now time to consider adopting a 'guided' approach to the site by deploying ‘moderation.’Please do consider it because the 'noises off' can then be excluded, and the debate can begin. I am sure you would approach this in a democratic way given the tolerance you have demonstrated in the face of inflammatory and personally offensive comments. I might/not agree with you but the subject is highly relevant to St Benedict's and all schools.

  61. I believe that some people writing on this blog are missing the point. Its not for Mr. West who needs to justify himself. Its the Abbott at Ealing who needs to come out with a public statement about Father Gregory. If the allegation is untrue just tell us Father Abbott. We need to know.
    Mr. West, from what I have read you have done a good job in trying to establish the truth don't give uo support for your cause is growing

  62. I'm not inclined to turn on moderation at this time.

    There was one time a few months ago when somebody tried disrupting the blog by making highly offensive comments in favour of paedophilia. Dealing with that involved turning on moderation for some articles for a time.

    I'm not all that bothered by the current set of shills. If they decide to make some kind of constructive contribution, then I'll welcome it. If they don't, then I'm inclined to leave their comments there, mostly without commentary, and let readers form their own views about those who write supporting the Abbey.

    And the more comments they make, the more traffic is driven to the blog, and more people who can use it (including all the comments) to form their opinion of the Abbey and the school. I have nothing to fear from that process.

  63. Yes, some people ('screamers' is the technical term we're told)may now be ridiculing Mr West, but God knows he's brought that upon himself. These same people, however, are attempting to introduce a measure of truthfulness into this blog.

    I have to ask Mr West, is demanding some kind of substantiation for his persistant public accusations, against Gregory Chillman for instance, merely a 'tiresome disruption' to the even tenor of his ways?

    Would he please take his considerations and suspicions directly to the police? They have looked very carefully into all the matters he as raised and, if he is any doubt about that, they alone are the people who can put his mind at rest.

    Anyone who comes away from reading what Mr West and his friends have written on this blog with the impression that their overriding concern is for 'calm democratic debate' must have more than one screw missing! It is painfully obvious to any objective reader that if anyone is master of 'inflammatory and personally offensive comments' it is Mr West!

  64. And the only reason calm debate has been dramatically blown off course is because of your collective and repeated demands for something which is nothing to do with you and the other Abbey supporters.

    One last time for you now. It is to do with Chillman and West and no one else. The Abbott can and should perhaps make a statement.

    To continue the debate to which not a single Abbey supporter has contributed which take up much more space on this site than the irrelevant contributions regarding libel - the safeguarding policy that allegedly protects children at St Benedict's school and which commits to nothing?

    Moderation is looking compelling!

  65. Chasing one's tail - manically!

    'Moderation is looking compelling'. Gosh, what stern words!

    The correspondent of 16.03, presumably the same as the above, wants this blog to be monitored in favour of Mr West. My feeling is that it should be shut down entirely. It's doing no good and a great deal of harm.

    What it has said, it has said. There is no point in repeating the same material ad nausiam and wherever it deviates from what we may generously assume is its essential theme it sinks to the gutter.

  66. More drivel - driven by fear.

    No contribution to the debate.

    If you don't like it here - leave.

  67. So, 16.48 (presumably also 17.51) thinks, if I'm able to read him aright, that defaming people is of no consequence. Without any real evidence, this blog has systematically sought to blacken the names of numerous people and institutions. But all that, carefully orchestrated as it is, is, at least according to 16.48/17.51 a mere sideshow, an irrelevance. I can assure 16.48/17.51 that were he the victim of such attacks he'd rapidly change his tune. Furthermore, I'd ask him to read through this blog, if he can face such a task, and ask himself exactly where all this 'irrelevant material' came from.

    I fear he'll also find that it's not at all irrelevant to the blog as such, for it seeks to demonstrate that nothing, absolutely nothing, good can emanate from Ealing Abbey or its school.

    - Drivelling with Fear

  68. For heavens sake what 'debate' is the guy who's asking people to leave on about? Does he represent some form of non-terrestrial life, or what?

  69. More dysentery from the Abbey person but no contribution to the debate.

    Imagine what it must be like for a child who has allegedly done wrong at the school!

    Leave, this is not good for you!

  70. I'm told, but I cannot for the moment absolutely vouch for the accuracy of the information, that Fr Gregory Chillman was interviewed by Social Services but the Police did not bother to interview him at all. There was, in their view, simply no substance to the charges brought against him.

    If this is indeed the case, his accusers on this site should not only be ashamed of themselves but have the good grace to make a fulsome apology to him and the Abbey.

  71. NOTE - High time for Mr West to move on....yes, do take a look at this month's POSTING NO 11 - Child Protection 5. Phew, back on relatively safe ground again!

  72. 18.40 - writes:

    "I'm told, but I cannot for the moment absolutely vouch for the accuracy of the information, that Fr Gregory Chillman was interviewed by Social Services but the Police did not bother to interview him at all. There was, in their view, simply no substance to the charges brought against him."

    Fair enough, I'll believe you when I see this in a Press Release from the School Solicitor, Mr Tony Nelson or the Abbot. They should act to protect the reputation of the School - well what's left of it after their mishandling of Fr Dave.

    Anyone remember RE boy and RE girl?

  73. Mr west, work out what you want to do and do it! This blog is convoluted. It has been brave and accurate. It has been cowardly and inaccurate. Time for mental editing!

  74. Re: 14 July 2010 20:00

    Why on earth should the abbey issue a press release on a sadly misguided series of actions arising solely out of scurrilous and unverified accusations made on this blog? To satisfy Mr West's amour-propre, I suppose?

  75. If there was no substance to any allegation against Fr Gregory, Mr West has to apologise. It is not up to the Abbey to clear up his mess - why should they?

    re boy - if someone made a scurrilous allegation against you on a blog, would you expect to have to pay your solicitor to set the record straight? No, but you might want to sue the blogger.

  76. If the Abbey wants to sue me, they know where to find me.

    But in the meantime, would you care to comment on the dismal state of the school's child protection policy? Am I wrong about that? If so, in what way?

  77. Who knows? It seems from what is posted on your blog that the 'protection policy' operating at St Benedict's is not in any way an aberration, in so far as it would seem to be very much in line with those operating in private schools generally.

    On this score, you have made your point/points, Mr West, and no one, as far as I can see, has accused you of being 'wrong'. Not on this particular score at least!

    However, if problems in this area remain outstanding, they are in all likelihood not going to be resolved by you and certainly not via this blog!

  78. If the problems with the child protection policy are unlikely to be resolved, then it sounds like I need to keep on publicising the problems, in order to warn parents of the dangers of sending their children to the school.

    After all, if there were robust procedures in place which as far as possible to prevent child abuse from happening in the first place, and rapidly detect and put a stop to it when it does happen, then the potential for paedophile monks (or other members of staff) to do harm would be vastly reduced, and there would be no need for anybody to have any concerns about the matter.

  79. There are many ways to corrupt a child not least the way of unbridled Puritanism!

    Mr West has been deliberating, he tells us, in the light of a couple of recent promptings on his blog, as to whether or not to reintroduce censorship (moderation). I recall very clearly his last bout of ‘moderation’ to which he has recently drawn attention. He claims he ‘moderated’ the blog because a blogger was attempting to 'promote paedophilia'. My own reading of those entries was very different. A number of contributors were, indeed, pointing out that currently the issue of paedophilia arouses an unfortunate degree of hysteria.

    What is more, this hysteria, far from protecting children, is itself subjecting them to a completely unnatural and cruel regime; one in which perfectly normal gestures of support, reassurance and affection from anyone - teachers, clergy, friends, family, you name it – are interpreted as an assault - a ‘sexual assault’! This kind of thinking, blindly supported by several contributors to this blog, primarily Mr West himself, cannot to be said in any way to ‘protect children’. It is, on the contrary, just another form of assault or abuse! Boys and girls subjected to such an unbalanced and inhuman policy, will inevitably grow up, in its image and likeness, to become unbalanced, emotionally stunted and paranoid adults!

    If this entry is seen as in any way supporting or ‘promoting’ paedophilia then there must be something seriously wrong with ’the eyes ‘of the people reading it!

  80. Hmmmmmmmm - is that why Mr West comes over as an unbalanced, emotionally stunted and paranoid adult - just a thought. His obsessive interest in a subject he clearly is unable to understand makes me wonder.........

  81. Well said and well observed 17.24! It's refreshing to see at last a chink of light on this dark blog!!

  82. Please let us get it right. It was a monk at Ealing abbey who abused children in the school. It went on for over 30 years and none of the Abbotts saw fit to step in and stop it. The reputation of the church was seen as a greater priority than my sons care. It was a disgrace. It you wonder why people like Mr. West don.t trust the Abbott just look at the abbey's record. Thirty years of shame. Whatever they think this scandal is not going to end soon. The media is going to make the most of this as the Popes visit to the UK approaches. As a catholic member of the local parish please father Abbott do the right thing. You owe it to the community as a whole not to the previous holders of office in your community who were misguided.

  83. Re 19:01

    The abbot's hands are tied at the moment. Largely because of Mr West's activities, some of them profoundly dishonourable. His blog has muddied so much waters that almost all the issues he has raised are now largely in the hands of social services, the police and the archdiocese of Westminster. However, I tend to agree with you it is time for some kind of positive action on the part of Ealing Abbey. Please talk to the Abbot and other members of the Ealing community, lay and clerical, not via this blog to which they will, on sound legal and other advice, never respond.

    Mr West is simply not seen as a credible person.

    ------------ An non-Catholic Ealingite

  84. A non-Catholic Ealingite write:

    "His blog has muddied so much waters that almost all the issues he has raised are now largely in the hands of social services, the police and the archdiocese of Westminster."

    or in other words,

    open discussion here and the fact that victims of abuse at St B's can follow and contribute to these discussions and know they are not alone has led to further complaints to the Authorities.

    In the course of the investigations of Fr Stan and Fr David the Police amassed a large number of allegations and information about abuse at St B's. But to persuade the CPS to prefer charges a victim/complainant must come forward and present evidence.

    This blog and the open discussion may well have helped victims of abuse to make that difficult decision to approach the Police or Social Services.

    I do not really understand your comment about "muddying the waters". Do you really think Mr West is malicious? Do you wish that you could censor Mr West and those commenting here or do you just want to shut down this blog completely?

    As those in Westminster and Ealing Abbey appear deaf to calls for justice and openness we must cry louder:

    Domine exaudi orationem nostram
    R. Et clamor meus ad te veniat!

  85. Thank God! Gordon's back with more of his good, common, sense!

  86. Go on Gordon (benet) surely your latin can do better than that!

    Why not something more colourful along the lies of, say: Impone, Domine, galeam salutis in capite meo, ad expugnandas omnes diabolicas fraudes, inimicorum omnium versutias superando.

    Which, translated, for those of us not still living in the medieval world, reads: Place upon my head, O Lord, the helmet of salvation, for fighting and overcoming all the wiles of the Devil: and for overcoming the savagery of all my enemies.

    Now that's more like it, benet!

  87. 10:29

    No, that is an inappropriate prayer as it is the prayer a Bishop says in the Traditional Rites as he puts on the amice before a Pontifical High Mass. I assume you are not a Bishop.

    I suggest Media Vitae or Parce Domine. Both express the anger of God toward those who have betrayed their religious vows and turned Monasteries into dens of iniquity.

    Pope Benedict XV puts it well: "...they are condemned by every prudent man, and, what is worse, have reason to fear the stern judgment of Christ?" and he was just talking about priests who refer to pagan authors in their preaching, God knows what he would have said about priests abusing minors. (Humanae generis - 1917)

    " Parce, Domine, parce populo tuo:
    ne in aeternum irascaris nobis."

  88. benet.

    I'm afraid you've quite missed the point! However, if lost on you, no doubt others will get it.
    - All the best, 10;29

  89. P.S. Try reading it with a little self-irony.


    With ref to the above. Firstly, I am not sure that humour can have any effect on this blog. We are dealing, it seems, with some singularly humourless people here.

    Secondly. I don't imagine anyone wishes to censor anyone else. However, what Mr West's critics are asking is for him to stick to his brief and not indulge in what, to most readers of this blog, is merely speculation and name calling.

    He has, as we are now aware, put forward allegations, very serious allegations for which he clearly has had no evidence. He could not, indeed, have had any evidence, because there was none!

    Far from steering a clear course Mr West is all too clearly attempting to whip up support, not on behalf of any 'change of policy' at St Benedict's, but for his own, very personal, campaign against certain individuals and institutions.

    This latter, very dangerous, activity is 'muddying the waters'!

  91. One has surely to agree with the comments at 08:39. In fact, they have been made by several people on this blog already!

  92. Clearing up the mud!

    I can imagine Mr West returning to answer the above criticisms. He might well say, for instance, that in serious matters 'humour' is out of place. But the humour is directed not at 'serious matters', it's directed at him and his modi operandi

  93. I'll leave it to readers to decide who is slinging mud and engaging in personal campaigns.

  94. Well, sadly for you, Mr West, many readers have decided that a long time ago!

  95. I agree with 13:27. Mr West decided to personalised most of his attacks right from the start of this blog. He cannot complain, therefore, if people choose to answer him in kind. Has he really never heard of 'the goose and the gander'?

  96. I clearly remember Father Gregory from when he was my RE teacher in the late 1970's/early 1980's.

    He would frequently warn us against "sins of impurity" without ever actually telling us what they were. At the time we thought it strange but simply dismissed him as a harmless eccentric.

    In retrospect I wish that I had asked him to define "sins of impurity" and to tell us why he seemed to be so obsessed with them.


    Well, 14:56, you'll be pleased to know that more or less the same question is being asked again right now - See CHILD PROTECTION POLICY -5 / 17 July 2010 13:25. It's not getting an answer though!

  98. Well, okay, 14:56. But, do remember that that was as close as any Catholic teacher of Gregory Chillman's generation, dare come the subject we now know and love as sex education.

  99. It is 'not getting an answer', 15;07, for the simple reason that it's directly asking Mr West for a direct reply.

    Mr West will happily quote this statistic and that report, but seems loath to tell anyone in a straight way what HE actually thinks.

    I'm sure such behaviour constitutes a 'fallacy' of some sort?

  100. Before some po-faced idiot responds to the above, perhaps someone could point out to them that it is a joke!

  101. chillman about as straight as you can get at corkscrew abbey. St B's should be long termed ashamed. Some of us remember Fr Kev ! All St B s cares about is money. Sad they are running out of rich parents

  102. If Mr West's contacts with the police and Ealing council were as good as he claims they are, he would know by now that Father Gregory was not under arrest and not under restricted ministry. Had he been arrested, he would not be put under restricted ministry - he would be removed from all ministry pending the outcome of investigation. Mr West needs to withdraw his claim. He says that if the Abbey want to sue him, they know where to find him. Maybe they might just do that.

  103. I just love the sustained beauty of expression and argument @ 22:24. It's a real gem!

    - Mary

  104. I'm new to this blog and have only managed to read a fraction of what has been written. Many commentators seem to want facts rather than hearsay. Let me provide some.

    My name is Paul Davies - I'm 48 years old and now resident in New Zealand.

    I was at St Benedicts from 73 to 80 and suffered at the hands of both Father Gregory and Father Lawrence. I have confided in this matter over the years with close friends and my wife but have always been reluctant to formally report my experiences. Many things have faded in my mind over 35 years but my recollections of Father Gregory and Father Lawrence are very clear.

    Father Gregory was head of the middle school when I was there and took a violent dislike to me. He beat me hard and regularly with a cricket bat for the most minor misdemeanour. On average I was beaten at least once a week. I remember him on one occasion announcing with some pride that I had the record of most beatings in the history of the school. It was my distinct impression that he derived sadistic pleasure from these beatings. He was often very red in the face and smelt strongly of alcohol. He hit me so hard that his substantial office desk that I was asked to bend over used to move across the floor of his study.

    Bernard Anwyl an English teacher at the school confided in my some years later that he was troubled by the way that Father Gregory picked on me and considered him sadistic. I believe he addressed this to Father Gregory and shortly after left the school. I suspect but do not know for sure that he was also aware of the issues relating to Mr Maestri that were occurring at the same time. Thankfully I had little contact with Mr Maestri.

    My recollections of Father Lawrence are in many ways of a kind man was genuinely interested in the academic welfare of the boys and was an excellent teacher. He was in charge of my year in the 5th Form and my physics teacher. It was however very clear time at the time that he was attracted to boys and was overly touchy. He would try and place his hand on my inner thigh during discussions in his office. I avoided that contact and he never forced himself on me. It was however common knowledge at the time that when the cane came out he was known to offer boys the option of 6 with the cane bent over or 4 with a ruler, pants down and over his knees. My memory is slightly hazy as to whether he ever gave me that option (I think he did but cannot be 100% sure) but if he did I know I never took him up on it. What I do recollect very clearly is that on one occasion he asked me if I had any padding in my trousers and when I bent over insisted on checking by sliding his hand down my trousers and between my pants and buttocks. These are the facts.

    The was another boy who I shall not name on this forum that spent much longer in his office. I have provided this name in my evidence to the enquiry.
    I remain resentful for what Father Gregory did to me. I felt it then and now to be most unjust. Strangely I am full of forgiveness and pity for Father Lawrence. I felt sorry for him then and now. He was in many ways a very good and kind man with a tragic flaw to his character. I reflect more on the wisdom of the Church for putting men in a position where they are starved of physical contact and affection which is such a fundamental tenet of the human psyche. If you isolate and starve priests in this way it is not, to me, a surprise that deviant behaviours emerge.
    I don't expect many to identify with this sympathy but it is how I feel.
    A number of readers were asking for facts and perhaps this will satisfy them in that regard.
    That is the end of my post.

  105. Thank you for having the courage to express the facts and putting your name to them.