12 months and 12 years on and Ampleforth Abbey and St Laurence Education Trust are still in the news over sexual abuse allegations. The charity commission has this month stripped both charities of responsibility for pupil welfare after last years inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse. The independent inquiry, set up by Teressa May, heard allegations against 40 monks and teachers. An interim manager has been appointed to both charities.
In 2006 Fr Piers Grant-Ferris a Benedictine monk and teacher at Ampleforth was jailed when he admitted 20 indecent assaults on young boys. Another former Ampleforth teacher, Gregory Carroll, was imprisoned in 2005 for the abuse of pupils but was ‘forgiven by the Ampleforth authorities’.
A year ago on 5th April 2017 Charity Chit Chat reported ‘1026493 – AMPLEFORTH ABBEY 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.
Why is it taking so long for realistic action to take place in this and similar instances. The charity commission are not designed to be ‘the moral police’ but seem to be used as an authority of last resort.
There are a lot of individuals who should have stood up to be counted. Three prison sentences a national investigation and countless heartbreak before cases are taken seriously.
The current younger generation should be imbued with moral fiber and integrity not taught by perverts that silence and a stiff upper lip is more important.