232632 – THE PROVINCE OF GREAT BRITAIN OF THE INSTITUTE OF THE BROTHERS OF THE CHRISTIAN SCHOOLS (THE DE LA SALLE BROTHERS) is an international Roman Catholic Religious Institute. In Great Britain there are 43 members living in 5 regionally “communities” managing several schools plus St Johns College Southsea (now an independent charity no.1162915 ). The most recent annual report and audited accounts report healthy investments but a massive financial black hole …….
Historic Child Abuse and Charity Background
From 1680 Saint John Baptist de La Salle felt himself “moved by the abandonment of the children of the artisans and of the poor.” and he worked helping a group of teachers to establish schools for poor children.
‘Since 1993, Broken Rites Australia has been researching a cover-up of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church.
In February 2017 The Royal Commission’s investigation into the response of the Catholic Church into alleged abuse heard that the De La Salle Brothers had one of the highest number of alleged perpetrators and has been subject of 328 claims of sexual abuse in Australia. ABC news
Too often, the church supported the offending clergy while ignoring the victims. At least three abusers have been uncovered and for example Broken Rites has shown how the church shielded the criminal priest Father Gerald Ridsdale for 32 years without reporting his crimes to the police.’
Claims and investigations continue in Australia. More than 1,100 complaints of child sexual abuse were made against hundreds of Anglican church clergy and laypeople over 35 years revealed in data provided to The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse.
De La Salle Brothers In the UK
Twelve months ago Michael Murphy known as Brother Benedict or Brother Ben to children in his care at St Joseph’s List D School East Lothian, was convicted for a catalogue of “brutal and degrading” indecent assaults against eight school boys during “a regime of fear”. Daily Mirror and others
In October 2016 five survivors started a civil claim against the Catholic diocese of Middlesbrough and the De La Salle Brothers, whose convicted former principal and a chaplain ran St William’s Home in Market Weighton, Yorkshire. Catholic Herald
Back in 2014 Paul Davey, a former Catholic Brother at De La Salle Croxteth served as head of music, was sent to prison for a second time for abusing young boys. The 58-year-old had previously served 30 months in prison after being convicted in 1996 of abusing four boys in the late 80s. Liverpool Echo
‘Vicarious liability claim’
This UK registered charity has a portfolio of cash and investments of over £22million which is just as well because according to their annual report and accounts… ‘Together with a number of co-respondents, the charity has been the subject of a vicarious liability claim concerning alleged acts of sexual and physical abuse of pupils at an educational establishment between 1958 and 1992 by certain brothers who were members of the charity, as well as abuse by some lay staff at the establishment. ……. An Agreement has been reached in principle that ensures that the charity, in return for an agreed claim settlement totalling £7.7 million has been released from any further claim in relation to the Group Action or in relation to any future claims in respect to the educational establishment for damages, claimants’ or co-defendant’s costs.’
Some of the school premises have been sold and the St Johns College in Portsmouth spun off to cover the damages and legal costs.
- Australia organised a Royal Commission. The UK are fudging with an Independent Inquiry into Historical Child Sexual Abuse and The Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry looking at the abuse of children in care and both loose key figures before they get started. Why?
- Given the scale and longevity of the abuse there is a lack of credible focus. Should major charities including NSPCC, and Barnardos work in tandem.
- A national and international holistic focus on prevention needs to be developed
1026493 – AMPLEFORTH ABBEY ‘ is a living, breathing community of monks and lay people who embody the fifteen-hundred year-old Benedictine precept: that we should live prayerfully, compassionately and humbly in the service of God and our fellow men. A shame then that last week an Ampleforth College teacher Dara De-Cogan was jailed at York Crown Court after sexually abusing one of the pupils.