Monday, 27 August 2018

IICSA and Ealing Abbey - Statements wanted


The IICSA is scheduled to hold hearings about Ealing Abbey in February 2019, and documentation and statements are being gathered now. It is important that the inquiry gets the clearest possible understanding of what went on there.

If you have experiences relating to abuse, either suffered by yourself or of others which you witnessed, or any knowledge of how the staff and monks covered up the abuse, then I urge you to make a statement.

I have drafted my statement, it is with my solicitor now. As a core participant in the Roman Catholic strand of the inquiry I have the right to legal representation. So if you want to make a statement, I can very easily get it to him and via him to the inquiry.

The inquiry will be interested not just in any accounts of abuse, but also in anything concerning how the school dealt with complaints about abuse. Whether and how abuse was covered up, both at the time and later if you're aware of complaints having been brought at a later date.

The inquiry will have within its scope all abuse perpetrated by staff at the school and by monks of the abbey, whether in the school/abbey grounds or elsewhere. I'm aware for instance that monks were governors of other schools in the vicinity and chaplains at other nearby institutions. Soper for instance was a visiting chaplain as Feltham Young Offenders' Institution and another monk was chaplain at St. Augustine's Priory School. So anything happening or covered up in any of these places is also relevant.

If you are an abuse survivor, then your identity will be protected - you have a lifelong legal right to anonymity. Your name will be replaced by an anonymous cipher and all other personal details in your statement that might identify you will be redacted.

Some people have commented here saying words to the effect of "I don't think my abuse was all that bad compared to what some others suffered." If that's what you think, then you can be a witness not only to what happened to you but also to what happened to them. We won't get a better chance this generation to find out what happened and to put a stop to it.

If you are interested in making a statement, email me at jonathanwest22@googlemail.com. If you don't want me to see the details of your statement, I can put you in touch with my solicitor and you can send it direct to him.

3 comments:

  1. The latest news from The Tablet on Ealing Abbey

    https://www.thetablet.co.uk/news/10918/zollner-praises-benedictines-response-to-abuse-horrors

    The Vatican 'expert' on these crimes Fr Zoller SJ- of course a Jesuit- lavishes praise on Ealing Abbey: I quote;

    “Ealing Abbey has had the courage to own what happened here,” said Fr Zoller at his first public engagement in Britain. “It is the start and it will continue. My hope is that what is happening here will be disseminated to other places. We need to open a space and to find ways of welcoming all who want to be there.”

    Business as usual and lets move on with the usual default catchphrases that accompany this litany sung by those want who to forget it all.

    Cardinal Nichol's failure to attend the public inquiry on the Archdiocese of Birmingham is a telling statement in itself on what Rome truly thinks on these matters.

    In reality we have not got very far at all....

    ReplyDelete
  2. Obviously, you can't reveal any confidential information, Jonathan, but I wonder if you have any idea of the quantity of information being submitted.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. At the Ealing Abbey preliminary hearing on 1st November, Counsel to the inquiry stated "Currently, the inquiry has identified approximately 5,500 pages of material to disclose to core participants and the inquiry
      will progress disclosure of rule 9 statements to core participants as soon as possible and intends to have provided a significant amount of disclosure to core participants by 17 December 2018."

      I confidently expect that once all the statements are in, along with their supporting documents, that the figure of 5,500 pages will double or treble.

      Delete