I was at St Benedict's from 1949 to 1956, and even then one of the monks was odd. Dom Horsey once made a remark round about 1952 when I was in running-gear that could have been suggestive, but he never did more than beat me among others.According to his obituary on the OPA website, Fr Kevin Horsey was transferred from the school to the parish in 1965. But he continued his work with the Scouts (supervising young boys) until 1970.
In my time, a boy who was (a) in Powell House (b) did geography (c) played Rugby (d) was in the Cadet Corps (e) was in the Fifth Form (f) lived in Ealing (g) was a Boy Scout ... would never get away from Dom Horsey at all!
In about 1968, one of my many cousins there later told me that Horsey had been moved from the school to parish work for an alleged sexual assault.
The school has a building named after him. When I told John Burke this, he was highly unimpressed.
Buildings should be named only after saints anyway - quote me on that. Otherwise, it does no good to the dead or the living.In our correspondence, John Burke initially put the blame for the abuse scandal on the loss of discipline in the priesthood following Vatican II. But I pointed out that Fr Kevin's abuses had largely predated Vatican II, the same could be said of much of the abuse in Ireland that has come to light in recent years, and that I doubted that reversing Vatican II would do much to reduce abuse. He was gracious enough to write and concede the point.
You are right that there was abuse before Vatican II - reading the papal encyclicals of last century, it is obvious that there was a rebellious climate that then used Vatican II to put through its liberalism. ... Use this information as you wish, and even to the present monks at St B's. I wish you well with your campaigning.I thought that very fair of him. John Burke is obviously a good man who is horrified by the abuses that have occurred.
This is by no means the first I have heard of Fr Kevin Horsey's transgressions. Another former pupil has given me permission to describe his experiences in 1965. And I have received an account of abuses of boys in the scout troop dating back all the way to 1949.
We can now tentatively reconstruct the sequence of events of 1965. I suspect that some parents complained about an assault on their son. The matter would have come to the attention of the Abbot of the time, Dom Rupert Hall. Only he would have had the authority to move Fr Kevin from school to parish work.
I expect that it was an extremely credible account (possibly including physical evidence) of quite a serious assault. In those days, the authority of the clergy and especially the Abbot and monks among the laity was even greater than it is today, so anything less than wholly credible could easily have been suppressed with a threat to the effect that the family risked excommunication if they persisted in an "unfounded" complaint against such a distinguished monk.
The authorities were not called in, and Fr Kevin was quietly moved to parish work. Of course, this didn't remove him from contact with boys, and the Abbot didn't take the trouble to require Fr Kevin to retire from his activities as a scoutmaster.
And later, once memories of these events had faded, the school named a building after him. St Benedict's School has a building named after a known paedophile monk.
The Catholic Church is good at symbolism. I think it would be an appropriate symbolic gesture for there to be a ceremony at which the Horsey Building is renamed and rededicated.