Monday, 27 May 2013

Crime & Cover Up

Crime & Cover Up will be a groundbreaking new film exposing decades of child sexual abuse in the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales, a new investigative documentary from the team that made Suing the Pope and Sex Crimes & the Vatican.

They need money to make the new film.

There is a definite need for this film, not just to expose the extent to which the Catholic church in Britain covers up abuse (as has already been found elsewhere in the world), but also to expose the weaknesses in child protection law which makes it so easy for the church to cover things up here.

If you are a victim of abuse and want to see justice done, or if you are a Catholic who wishes to see effective safeguarding put in place within the church, or if you know somebody who was harmed by clerical abuse, then please donate what you can to the making of this film.


  1. There was an interesting programme on BBC Scotland last night entitled "Sins of the Fathers". It dealt with sexual abuse at the Benedictine run boarding school at Fort Augustus in the Highlands and it is available on the BBC's iPlayer for a week.

    Our very own Father David Pearce made a brief appearance, as did Abbot President Richard Yeo who made a complete fool of himself.

  2. Perhaps Abbot Yeo should invite Lord Carlile to carry out an independent inquiry into the scandal at Fort Augustus Abbey.

    1. 'Sins of Our Fathers' is an important documentary on the abuse by the monks of Fort Augustus Abbey School, which closed in 1993.

      The film makes brief allusions to other monks who have recently been jailed for child abuse - including monks from Downside, Ampleforth, St Benedict's Ealing, and Buckfast Abbey.

      The film should be seen. It is revelatory and extremely damning; and opens up vital questions that this WISE WEBSITE has been pursuing for a long time.

    2. Sins of Our Fathers starts with brief mention of other monks who have recently been jailed, or reprimanded, for child abuse - including monks from Downside (Fr Richard White – 2012: 10 years), Ampleforth (Fr Bernard Green and Fr Piers Grant-Ferris), St Benedict's Ealing (Dom David Pearce – 2009: 8 years), and Buckfast Abbey Prep School (Fr Paul Crouch – 2007: 10 years and nine months, and Prior Philip Manahan, 15 months). Also Fr John Kinsey of Belmont Abbey was sentenced to 5 years in prison in 2005.

      Most Benedictine private schools in the UK have been subject to monk-on-pupil sex abuse scandals. The question is: are Frs. White, Green, Grant-Ferris, Pearce, Crouch, Manahan, Kinsey, Duggan, and others, the tip of the iceberg – or the iceberg itself? Is it a few ‘bad apples’, or a systematic problem?

      Monks are subject to regular confession, so they cannot deny a knowledge of child abuse in their midst. This is a key problem. Confession is ‘sacred’ – its secrets are privileged, and can never be divulged, even when the ‘sins’ are murder, or child abuse.

      ‘Sacred Confession’, the Catholic Church’s hierarchy, and the autonomy of each monastery, are central to the sex abuse scandals’ cover-up for years. There is a pattern to these scandals: almost invariably there is a history of pupil sexual abuse for four decades or more – BEFORE the first accusations appear.

      The Benedictine monks’ sexual abuse parallels that at other Catholic private schools, notably, Grace Dieu Manor School, prep school to Ratcliffe, run by the Rosminian Order, and subject of the important BBC documentary, Abused: Breaking the Silence (2011).

      The London Oratory (Fr David Martin 2000), the Oratory School, Woodcote (2013), and Stonyhurst (Fr James Chaning-Pearce – 1998: 5 years) have also been subject to sex abuse scandals.

  3. Let us not confine ourselves to events in Britain, or the UK. Including testimony form former pupils of Benedictine schools throughout these islands may be instructive.

    Many years ago, as a fresher at an Irish university, I made friends with a number of other freshers who had attended a boarding school in RoI. An event that stayed with me over four decades was the appearance of one of the monks from their school on campus to see how they were doing. Of these new friends of mine one confided in me that he had been sexually assaulted by this monk - the friend has had recognizable mental health difficulties for almost three decades. Another of these new friends of mine died of AIDS, and a third was diagnosed schizophrenic. The monk in the meantime has gone on to gather glittering prizes.

    I am often tempted to be more explicit about my concerns, but the possibility that legal/political connections by key figures among the Benedictine congregation in Ireland would destroy me and the fear of the possibility that they would be backed by some very wealthy past pupils of the school(s) in question prevents me from saying more at this stage.