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Catholic paedophile, 80, vanishes

Catholic paedophile, 80, vanishes

FATHER Laurence Soper, an ex-London abbot accused of sexually abusing children, is reportedly on the run from police after jumping bail.

Soper, an abbot in Ealing between 1991 and 2000, was arrested last year on suspicion of sexual assault. He is now the subject of an international manhunt after jumping bail earlier this year.

The allegations against him cover a 20 year period, and relate to the time when he was head monk at St Benedict’s, a private school attached to Ealing Abbey.

Posting a comment beneath the London Evening Standard report, a former pupil wrote:

St Benedict’s always was and always will be a truly hateful place, ruining young people’s lives with a culture of sadism and abuse (mental and physical as well as sexual) that is not only tacitly accepted and tolerated but actively encouraged. A pox on the place. Do your kids a favour and don’t send them there.

We now learn that the Vatican has ordered an inquiry into decades of sexual abuse by clerics at the Benedictine abbey, which runs St Benedict’s.

A former headmaster, Father David Pearce, was jailed in 2009 for abusing boys at the school over a 35-year period. He was dubbed the “devil in a dog collar” by one of his victims.

The Vatican confirmed yesterday that it had launched an investigation, known as “an apostolic visitation”.

Bishop John Arnold and the Right Rev. Richard Yeo, President of the English Benedictine Congregation, visited Ealing Abbey last month as part of the Vatican inquiry, according to Eddie Tulasiewicz, spokesman for the Catholic diocese of Westminster.

St Benedict’s School is holding its own inquiry into the scandal, led by lawyer Lord Carlile, and his report is due to be published soon.

London’s Metropolitan Police said police are trying to trace Soper, who was arrested and bailed last year on suspicion of “historic sexual assault.”

Ealing’s current abbot, Martin Shipperlee, said earlier this month that in March, Soper:

Left the monastery in Rome where he had been living to travel to London for an appointment with the police. Unfortunately he failed to keep that appointment and we have heard nothing from him since and all efforts to contact him have been without success.

 

31 Responses to “Catholic paedophile, 80, vanishes”

  1. The Woggler says:

    Has anybody thought to look under his hollowness’ dress?

  2. Ivan says:

    More on this latest scandal (‘putting Dracula in charge of a blood bank’) here:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/oct/25/ealing-abbey-sexual-abuse-vatican

    Elsewhere, it’s business as usual as, with their usual sociopathic lack of self-awareness, the world’s biggest organised child sex ring and operator of a famously dodgy bank call for a crackdown on immoral financial practices:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/oct/24/vatican-calls-crackdown-financial-market

  3. tony e says:

    As times are tight I’d like to save the police both time and money. Just go to the vatican, i’m sure he will be found easily enough.

  4. sailor1031 says:

    Newsflash: Foxes report no truth to reports of breakins at henhouse.

    Seriously. No worries folks – go back to sleep.

  5. AgentCormac says:

    He was suspected of perpetrating a 20-year spree of sexual assault against youngsters – and they let him out on bail?

  6. Stuart H. says:

    I was amused to see that Julian Clary is one of two St Benedict’s alumni listed at the Beeb’s report at http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-15442914.
    Shame about the other one. Still explains a lot about current BBC policy.

  7. john fr says:

    Give me a break,an 80 year old monk disappears! The man had no obvious means of support. Who bought his tickets? You’d think someone would’ve taken his passport away so he couldn’t leave europe. With all the other sex abuse charges at the place why was he even granted bail? Some parents would surely have objected. I know many catholic parents think the church is infallible but this beggers belief. He’s been missing all year and they just now issued an arrest warrent? Did anyone check the News Corps offices yet? And they let him go to Rome! Surely the police would question that move. Oh,I get it now. The vatican will blame it on a homosexual conspiracy to discredit the church! Right! After Ireland,the US,and Germany how can you discredit them anymore?

  8. matt says:

    he’s probably at the vatican lol

  9. Broga says:

    These creatures inflict decades of sexual abuse and physical cruelty and yet parents continue to send there kids to these hellish places. Even today there is a response that is so much more accepting of their behaviour than there would be from a non religious perpetrator. If one of my children said they were being abused I would want to know what was going on – fast. What’s wrong with this people?

  10. dogon says:

    Have they bothered to look under the popes gold garments?

    That would be where he would be doing his best work…and hiding at the same time….the best of both worlds for the Abbot and the Ratzy.

  11. Daz says:

    Of course the RCC should launch its own investigation. After all, our tabloid press is self-regulatory, and that works… Oh, wait a sec&hellip

  12. Daz says:

    Where'd the bloody edit button go?

    … = …

  13. Don’t let the Vatican investigate. They are professional pedophile protectors.

    Send in the police.

    Parents – keep your children away from Catholic priests.

  14. AngieRS says:

    If they’d taken his passport, which they should have done, he would never have left the country and been given the chance to go on his toes. So someone in government slipped up somewhere. Wonder who.

  15. gsw says:

    Re: take his passport away – no good. The Vatican would have no trouble getting him another. One randy old priest is just like another, so the photo on the passport is no problem either.

    What do you mean “that would be illegal”? And I suppose raping children isn’t? Really, what do they have to loose?
    Most RC priests still live in the 15th. century, when they had their god’s mandate to do whatever they wanted with no comebacks, so you will get no remorse from them.

    A bright thought for the day: In 20 years a lot of raped children can grew big and strong – maybe the poor “father” is lying in a ditch somewhere – beaten to a pulp.
    I suppose that his being struck by lightening would be an unreasonable hope.

  16. Newspaniard says:

    He’ll get his when he has to face the Flying Spaghetti Monster in the sky. (Yeah, Right)

  17. Stuart H. says:

    If he is revealed to be in the Vatican, hiding under their status as an ‘independent state’, it would be interesting to know how the Vatican continues to claim that status at the UN if they don’t also recognise international arrest warrants, also why the UK government, while ready to recognise them if gay asylum seekers are facing deportation back to countries run by religious despots, hasn’t issued one in this case.
    Might also be of interest that Society of St. Pius X, the notorious holocaust deniers who the Vatican seems to be kissing and making up with again, have previous for smuggling religious criminals. A few years ago the Irish Independent had a report with pretty convincing pictures implicating their Irish wing in the smuggling of some US pro-life nut who’d shot doctors at an American abortion clinic.

  18. barriejohn says:

    Another “Ealing Comedy” perhaps? Carry On Up The Back Passage.

    He’s not the only one, BTW:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ealing_Abbey

  19. barriejohn says:

    Why can’t we edit any more? I see that Barry has mentioned Dom Pearce!

  20. Stuart H. says:

    Just when you think it can’t get worse, you find http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-devon-15491833 – a BBC report on the Catholic church in Devon having to start a new review into child protection after the arrest of the guy they paid to conduct the original investigation into allegations of historic child abuse at a former preparatory boarding school run by monks at Buckfast Abbey.
    Apparently: “Police found more than 4,000 child porn images, mainly of boys aged 10 to 12, on his church-supplied computer and a memory stick when they raided his home.
    Twelve images were at Level Five, which can include scenes of torture and sadism.”
    Unbelievable!

  21. remigius says:

    Stuart H.

    He was jailed for a year this very morning.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-devon-15490218

  22. Cliff Knoetz says:

    I’ve started watching Dexter recently. I’m just saying, this arsehole disappearing… it might not be bad news…

  23. Stonyground says:

    I have just visited Buckfast Abbey. The Church is pretty amazing because it was built early last century but it is not at all modern. To see a large medieval style church in as-new condition is quite an experience and it is free so you don’t have to give them any of your money if you don’t want to. The rest of the place is just like any other modern retail park. I was amused by a haughty notice stating that the rosaries were not necklaces. I’m afraid that I did buy a small bottle of the famous Buckfast Wine out of curiosity. To any other curious folk out there, it tastes like cough medicine but does have a hell of a kick.

  24. barriejohn says:

    Stonyground: When I was teaching, we took a group of children who were studying monasteries to Prinknash Abbey for what we thought was to be a guided tour. After dumping us in an excruciatingly boring service where we had difficulty containing the kids for such a long period, the monks ushered us into the shop, where they endeavoured to offload as much of their “famous” pottery onto us as possible. We managed to resist the temptation to clean them out, but I did buy a tiny vial of “Holy Water” to take back for a particularly ungodly colleague of mine, which caused much merriment in the staffroom – as did my tongue-in-cheek wall display of our very “educational” outing!

  25. Neuseline says:

    This abbot is clearly very athletic, jumping bail and then running away. Perhaps the police should look for an old man in running shorts, trainers and a pint of Abbot ale in his fist.

  26. Calixtus says:

    I am a Roman Catholic, forever. As for all the criminal abusers, hunt them down, throw them out and turn the evidence over to the cops. Those who do not admit their guilt and publicly repent and take their punishment, excommunicate them, latae sententiae. We Catholics are supposed to forgive endlessly, but I can forgive them just as easily when they are in their jail cells or in their graves as I can out on the street. Excoriate them. Holy Mother Church herself is innocent as she is the body of all the faithful, the body of Christ. Those others are not of us. They are anathema.

  27. Calixtus says:

    P.S. Having said all the above, I say again to all you folks that I do not believe there is such a thing as a true atheist vs those who call themselves such. Yours is simply another quasi-religion albeit one that belies common sense. Unfortunately for us, in these days you and your fellow left-liberals, and your muslim pals, seem to be rather better evangelists than we are.

  28. barriejohn says:

    You haven’t been taking your medication again, have you Calixtus?

  29. Calixtus says:

    To barryjohn: Medication? What brought that up? If you are going to try to insult a guy, why not be a man and just do it? Don’t bother though, I doubt you could ever insult me. Finally, as per doctor’s orders, any medication I may take I do so when and as prescribed, from the drugstore and not from the creepy fellow on the street corner or the rave club. You guys are sooo touchy!

  30. […] Catholic abbot, 80, wanted in connection with child sex offences, has vanished (freethinker.co.uk) […]

  31. […] our report last month regarding the disappearance of Father Laurence Soper, 80, wanted by police in connection […]