Sunday, 2 September 2012

Abbot Laurence Soper

Abbot Laurence Soper
Abbot Laurence Soper, wanted by the police
The police have obtained a European Arrest Warrant for Abbot Laurence Soper in connection with allegations of sexual assaults committed while he was a monk and teacher at St Benedict's.

The Mail On Sunday broke the story first today, and they were rapidly followed by the Daily Telegraph, the BBC, the Press Association, The Times (behind paywall) and a whole load of other news outlets.


One remarkable aspect of these stories is that we now at last have a good clear photo of Soper (albeit taken 10 years ago). I wonder why it took Abbot Martin Shipperlee so long to release it? If he is truly as keen as he says he is to see Soper brought to justice, why has it taken 18 months from when Soper disappeared for him to make this picture available to the press and the police? Does he really expect us to believe that he never noticed that the previous press pictures of Soper were either very old or very blurry and indistinct?

29 comments:

  1. Abbot Martin should consider offering a substantial reward for information leading to the arrest of Laurence Soper, I am sure that the abbey can afford the money.

    The bad publicity will not stop until Soper is caught and put on trial.

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    1. They have no money,even the School has now gone.

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  2. Would making such a reward not fly in the face of Benedictine forgiveness &c.,&c.

    Soper is clearly super glued to his vows of stability, obedience, and conversion of life.

    The person who seeks conversion of life is always looking for a new way to see life. This principle does not just mean being converted in the religious sense. It is a way of looking at life that is creative, optimistic and positive. It sees possibilities, not problems. It gives people the benefit of the doubt. It is always seeking to convert the difficulties of life into opportunities for growth. The person who vows to follow conversion of life wants to convert the whole world from death and despair to new life and hope.


    That's Soper.

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  3. How is it that it is only now that a proper photo of Soper has been produced and published? The previous photo could have been of anyone. And where did the idea that Soper was 80 years old come from?

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  4. It is curious that the Abbey has been so consistently inaccurate about Soper's age. The impression given was that he was an old man nearing the end of his days. But Soper is an Old Priorian - in fact he was a near contemporary of Pearce's at the school - so they should have records of his class at St Benedicts.

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  5. Is this going to become another long runner like 'Where's Wally?'

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  6. yep 17.11. the pens are being filled with vitriol as we speak. something for those long dark autumn evening me thinks...

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  7. this isn't news but olds. The warrent was obtained some time ago. my question is why release this story now?

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    1. No, what happened some time ago (October 2011 to be precise) is that a warrant was being prepared. It has now been obtained. This is new news (although you might well ask why it's taken almost a year to get to the stage where police circulate a photo).

      I too am amazed to learn that Larry isn't 90 years old after all.

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  8. I think you will find that it was the police who gave his age as 80. Probably nothing more than human error.

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  9. There is an Abbeyvista in the house doing what Abbeyvista's do so poorly. Oh dear, such determined lemmings, so obvious and so morally disoriented from being such sterling supporters of hebephiles. And such sore knees but from what; praying?

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  10. Butter wouldn't melt, man of the cloth, but the medallion is OTT!

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  11. what do you mean?... The school has gone.

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    1. I think he means that the Abbey has lost control of the school.

      Which, by the way, it hasn't.

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  12. Shipperlee should offer a mass at Ealing Abbey for the successful arrest and extradition of Laurence Soper.

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  13. It would be well worth reminding Martin Shipperlee and the Ealing monastic community of the recent conviction of William Lynn, a US Roman Catholic cleric. I wonder why the police handling the investigation surrounding Soper and other monks have failed to pursue such an action against Shipperlee and others-in particular Rossiter.

    Once Soper is apprehended I would be interested in seeing how he managed to evade detection for so long.....who colluded and facilitated in securing his disappearance and how he financed that lifestyle.

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  14. oh, this is going to be fun, fun, fun... no need for a new hobby over the winter now!

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  15. Anonymous 20.03

    It may well have been human error initially, but the error was repeated and repeated in numerous reports, when the Abbey (which after all knows Soper's age perfectly well all along) could have corrected it on many occasions. If, that is, they wished his description to be circulated accurately and to help the police bring him to trial.
    It is material information - which they had, and which they failed to give.

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  16. Given the alleged "Feltham connection" - is Soper an alleged hebephile or an ephebophile or unusually, perhaps both?

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  17. 20:58
    He's an alleged child sex abuser.

    I'm not greatly concerned about a distinction between two different greek derived words both describing forms of child sex abuse that are illegal in the UK.

    I wonder at the motives of those who are.

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  18. But it is a distinction that needs to be considered and understood given the two places with which he was connected.

    You may not be greatly concerned Mr West, but others should be, and it may be a very important consideration in their investigations.

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  19. I am sure Abbott Martin spent an awful long time looking for the photo, sparing no effort in order to get it to the Police as quickly as possible.

    NOT!

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  20. Pearce, Maestri and Soper have really put St Benedict's school on the map!!

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  21. It is now mid-April 2013 and still no sight or sound of Soper. My personal opinion is that he is laying low in a monastery/religious house probably in Europe. This may not even be a Roman institution. Quite possibly Orthodox.

    It is likely that significant assistance has been afforded to Soper in pursuit of the sole objective that is now the contour of his life; to stay one step ahead of the law.

    Even if inquiries were made at these institurions is there any likelihood of them surrendering Soper? He may well be offending against children in the vicinity of place where he resides at....

    It is all suppostition on my part; as day follows night the drip feed of revelations regarding the sexual abuse crimes of Roman clerics in Britain continues unabated.In my mind improperly dealt with by those authorities, charged by the state, with rooting out and responding to these deeply disturbing horrors.

    Now why is that so?

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  22. It is past midnight here in Sydney, Australia. Browsing the internet late into the night I came across this article. It extensively "quotes" from Ealing Abbey monk, Timothy Gorman;

    http://missblackeyetoeye.wordpress.com/2013/04/

    It is certainly interesting from one perspective and makes many assumptions which could be construed as misdirection. I will allow the reader to make their own judgment.

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  23. 2 years since I wrote from Sydney. Soper continues to elude his day with justice. It is perplexing to think that Soper believes he can evade his own day of reckoning. It takes considerable resources to flee. Where are these funds coming from so as to sustain him?

    Does Shipperlee and his gang masquerading as a monastic community know of of his whereabouts? Are the police continuing to search for the erstwhile emeritus abbot? Is Soper trading his clerical services to a diocese or religious congregation in Europe or elsewhere who have no knowledge of his past and the arrest warrant issued for him?

    Has every diocese and religious house- Catholic or Orthodox been contacted to advise them of Soper?

    I would not be surprised if Soper was hiding out at an Italian religious house. He knows the workings of these places intimately and is probably fluent in Italian. I suggest that is the place to start. Such places may well be working on the presumption that they will not hand up one of their own to the secular authorities.

    No doubt I shall log on here again in 2017 and the whereabouts of Soper will remain an enigma.

    The RC Church's equivalent of Lord Lucan or even Martin Bormann. It beggars belief.

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  24. I have read all of the above with horror! I remember Laurence Soper all too well.... I was at St Benedicts from 1974 until '78... I recall an incident while standing outside his office (at the time he was the head of lower 5th)... Another boy was also there awaiting punishment and looked utterly terrified.... I knew the boy only really in passing... He told me afterwards that he had been offered 2 strokes of the cane with his trousers and pants down instead of the usual 6 strokes.... To my shame I did not take this seriously and thought it rather funny.... I (and my immediate friends) were part of the Rugby team, we thought we were nobody's fools... the reality was of course that Soper knew we were not timid nor as vulnerable as the aforementioned waif!... This persisted and other boys said the same.... My late Mother thought Soper the perfect gent and often spoke of him.... Of course the ace up Soper's sleeve was the fact that the majority of us dared not mention the rumours to our parents... they would have met with disbelief.... Sadly I found out shortly before my Mother died that she too had been systematically abused by her parish priest as a child!
    Please can somebody post the name of the Police contact in this case as I believe I may have information that may be of use... not of course Soper's whereabouts.... but sadly of more abuse

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    1. If you have information on abuse at Ealing Abbey to report, I recommend you dial 101 and ask to be put through to the Ealing and Hillingdon Child Abuse Investigation Team

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  25. I lived opposite the abbey and although not a catholic myself my wife is. we moved here about a year and half ago and I heard about Abbott Soper so I wrote to Abbot Shipperlee about the case asking if he had any news I was not making trouble I was just trying to find a suitable place to worship. I also questioned the wisdom of having a fully functioning bar open 7 days a week in a place of worship, which the Abbey has. 6 months later and I am still waiting for a reply. I think this may be the abbeys and perhaps the churches official line, ie ignore everything and hope it withers on the vine

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