Thursday, 5 January 2017

FARNBOROUGH ABBEY "CONCERNS"

FARNBOROUGH ABBEY "CONCERNS"


SAINT MICHAEL'S ABBEY, FARNBOROUGH

I HAVE BEEN CONTACTED BY THREE FORMER NOVICES OF FARNBOROUGH BENEDICTINE ABBEY IN THE CATHOLIC DIOCESE OF PORTSMOUTH, ENGLAND EXPRESSING THEIR "CONCERNS" ABOUT THEIR TIME AT THE ABBEY - 1988 / 1989 AND ABOUT NEGATIVE EXPERIENCES THEY HAD THERE WITH A SMALL NUMBER OF MONKS INCLUDING THE CURRENT ABBOT - DOM CUTHBERT BROGAN.

Two of them, at this time, wish to be public.


DOM CUTHBERT BROGAN (ON LEFT)

The former novices who contacted me are:


1. THOMAS WOOD
1988 - 1989
2. MATTHEW NEWTON


I must say looking at Tom and Matthew they look more like boys than men in these pictures.

Another aspect of this concern is that the Catholic Bishop of Portsmouth - Egan - has appointed Dom Brogan to the diocesan SAFEGUARDING COMMISSION:


DOM BROGAN PRESIDING OVER VESPERS

Rt Rev Dom Cuthbert Brogan osb

PRIEST
St Michael's Abbey, Farnborough Road, Farnborough ParkFarnboroughHampshireGU14 7NQ
Telephone 01252 546105 

Diocese or affiliated organisation Member of a Religious Order

In these kind of cases there are well laid out procedures to be followed and I have therefore advised these men that the proper procedures are to:

1. Contact the HAMPSHIRE POLICE FORCE special unit- which they have now done.


Good afternoon
Thank you for your email regarding the historical incidents.
Please can you contact the two named males and ask them to telephone 101 which is the non-emergency number and if they care calling out of Hampshire, ask them to opt for Hampshire on the phone menu.
They will come through to the Force Enquiry Centre and one of our enquiry officers can take their report.  We are open 24/7.
Kind regards


Force Enquiry Centre (FEC) 
Hampshire Constabulary 
Southern Road
Southampton
Hampshire
SO15 1AN
Tel:101 or 999 in an emergency
Email: Postmaster@hampshire.pnn.police.uk

2. Contact the CSAS - Catholic Safeguarding Advisory Service - in London via their Ms Collette Limbrick - which has been done.

3. Inform the Safeguarding Officer of Portsmouth Diocese - Mrs Angela McGrory - which they have done.

4. Contact the Abbot General of the Subiaco Benedictines in Italy who is the religious authority for Farnborough Abbey.

At this stage it must be stressed that what is happened that three complainants have come forward and have been directed towards the proper authorities. 

It it now up to the proper authorities to look into the matter and it is not our job to make any judgements on way or another.

These police units are very experienced in dealing with these matters and are free from any outside pressure.

Any person wishing to contact me or these men or indeed anyone who wishes to be put in touch with the proper authorities can make contact on: bishopbuckley1@outlook.com





62 comments:

  1. I don't like using expletives on a public blog but when I saw the picture of that twat in his flowery robes with twiddle dee and twiddle dum in similar panto dress alongside him, I thought what a load of fucking bollocks. No wonder public scorn of religion is so high when you have men, dressed like this, trying to tell you the ultimate meaning of life. I'd rather have a witch doctor with a bone through his nose. At least he'd look more appropriate and honest for the job.

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  2. Why are those 3 men dressed up like circus clowns
    Shhhhhhhh

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They are celebrating something in Latin.

      Delete
  3. Pat, as a former Farnborough novice myself (and how many there are) I am delighted that this has finally come into the open and it confirms what I have always suspected about Cuthbert. Many a time over the years I have wondered whether I should go to the police, but always wondered what I would say since I only really had a feeling.
    Your good work in this has relieved the mind of a former Farnburger.

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    Replies
    1. I only had a feeling :) Does my feeling that you are an idiot makes you an idiot? If this is real thing prove it otherwise you are just brainless mob.

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    2. Nice manners. Hint: join Farnborough and see.

      Delete
  4. Those poor young boys. Lambs to the slaughter.

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  5. You know Pat I get more disgusted with my religion every day
    No. Wonder yer man in the Dail Has tee shirt
    on and his hair askew
    All one needs is a good shower and a simple robe to celebrate mass.
    Mass is about the presence of the Lord...not fancy dress

    ReplyDelete
  6. 'Boys rather than men': Prinknash's foundation at Farnborough had a good start in 1947 but then suffered a loss of manpower to staff the next foundation at Pluscarden, and never really recovered. A lack of bodies and a lack of discernment in who wad recruited, combined with the instability of all religious life after the 1960s, it became a battle ground of different factions and ended up literally splitting down the middle after an abbatial election.
    I visited there while sniffing round communities (I'm actually surprised it's still open because it seemed doomed in the 1990s). Dom Cuthbert (he wasn't an abbot then, but his ambition was very obvious) told me that a canonical visitation when he was a novice recommend he be dismissed from the monastery. I don't know their reasons for that but there were obviously 'concerns'. Perhaps one of the former Farnborough monks would able to say more?

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    Replies
    1. I understand that Dom Cuthbert was expelled from the Passionists for inappropriate behaviour before he joined Farnborough.

      Delete
  7. I have no problem with those beautiful vestments,however, who is wearing them is a problem.

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    Replies
    1. 'Beautiful vestments'??? You're an idiot, aren't you?

      Delete
  8. The only comment I can think of to ask is if the pic above is of Father and Son. Otherwise let justice take its course

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    Replies
    1. Lol doubt that very much

      Delete
  9. 14 .43 surely you had More than a feeling, you did neglect your duty
    If that man was abusing those boys as they were then, you and others must have known
    Shame on you for not taking action, I presume you left before committing yourself
    Why do people keep stumph when it's obvious there is abuse.
    Even looking at that fancy dress parade would alert me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. (same anon)
      That's the problem, it was only ever a feeling that there wasn't something right with him.
      Don't forget it takes years for people to come forward.
      Of course if I had thought he was actually abusing anyone I would have picked up the phone like a shot.

      Delete
  10. Your Grace, I am a traditional Catholic of a very different sort from yourself, but was delighted to see this news after a friend told me about it. In traditionalist circles in the South of England Farnborough has had a reputation for a long time. It has not been published much online because the abbot is notoriously litigious. Since the police are involved evidently his unsuitable behaviour has included criminal behaviour as well.
    Despite our difference in approach to the Faith I am delighted if your actions mean police intervention prevents harm or scandal and will pray for you and the men mentioned here.

    ReplyDelete
  11. What will it take to have honesty in the Catholic Church? All those who said at their initial interview for the priesthood that they were heterosexuals but gay, begin their vocation with a lie! Perhaps the Pope wearing a jock strap on the balcony and singing 'I am what I am' is what it will take.

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  12. Quote 'liturgy is not entertainment presided over by the local religious celebrity' please don't focus on the tat but the courage of these young men who were offering their lives to a nest of vipers. A mixture of Latin with the beauty of vestments in the new rite plus a priest facing east also sitting side on, is less of a religious celebrity cult and more an act of worship. More Mass and less personality of liberal or conservative priests.

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  13. The arguments of Trad vs liberal, have created a vacuum where vile Priests on both sides have flourished. We are a Church devided and the way things are going it will be pick your Schism. Looking at the articles about the Abbey and the hypocrisy of Cardinal O'Brien, suddenly excommunction becomes a shallow threat. I'm not paying another penny into the collection. Makes me feel sick.

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  14. 14.43 sorry if I was too condemning, what d I know.
    I'm just a mother, but looking at those boys that were boys then, I felt sick
    What if one had been mine.....it's too sad

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  15. This is his facebook profile

    https://www.facebook.com/david.c.brogan

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  16. That abbot needs a kick up the arse
    Litigitiious is he? Hope he gets his cumuppence

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  17. Has anyone thought about contacting the Press and telling them about the going's on at Farnborough? It may encourage more former novices to come forward.

    ReplyDelete
  18. The comments I have read on this blog are evil. So let me get this straight... 2 novices at farnborough in 1988 (!!) have alleged they were abused? Were these 2 novices dismissed? Do they have an axe to grind? Did they go to other communities and were dismissed from there for being unstable?

    All the comments seem to suggest that the current abbot abused them. But, in 1988 wouldnt the abbot have been around 18? wouldnt he have been a novice? is the allegation against abbot brogan or against the then superior or then novice master or some other older monk? How can an 18 year old novice abuse other novices? what does that even mean?

    The automatic presumption of wrongdoing and then vitriolic comments regardless of any knowledge of anything of the allegation or of alleged facts is utterly scandalous. Anyone looking to see abuse need only read this blog post!

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    Replies
    1. Rather than make allegations or jump to judgement let us allow the professionals - the police - to do their job.

      Delete
    2. No matter what age you are it doesn't excuse sexual assault on another person or persons. It's a matter for civil law and the authorities. The law of the land applies even to those dressed up like a pantomime dame. You might wear a Mitre on your nut but the law still applies to you.

      Delete
    3. Shut up you Cassock Creep. Why is it that people who his fellow Novices, have never met, have similar experiences of him? The man is a disgrace and I for one hope more will come forward and believe you me, THEY WILL.

      Delete
  19. Thank you Bishop Pat for bringing this to the fore. Farnborough is a joke. It only has 3 or 4 men in it, the Abbot likes to dress up like a Christmas tree. He now needs to step aside whilst an investigation takes place. A bit like our Arlene.

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  20. Pat, should you be reporting this at this stage? Would this not compromise the investigation?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have simply reported a FACT. Three former novices have made a complaint that will be investigated. Nothing more.

      The three men were hopeless. Now there is hope - an independent investigation.

      If others have something to contribute they now know where to go.

      NOW we leave it to to the professionals.

      Delete
    2. But you havent simply reported a fact Pat.

      You've left comments active on your post too meaning that you've provided and hosted a forum in which people are stating all sorts of scandalous and vitriolic things against someone who should be presumed innocent until proven otherwise through proper processes.

      Delete
    3. Complaints have been lodged. An investigation has begun.

      The ONLY important outcome will be what the police say.

      Delete
    4. What the police say will indeed be an important outcome but it will not be the ONLY one.

      What if the police conclude it was all unfounded? Won't the damage to the reputation of the abbot be an important outcome as a result of this post and your comments forum?

      Delete
    5. Then the abbot will emerge with a cleared name.

      Delete
    6. What I understand from this blog is that what has been portrayed is without prejudice. Innocent until proven guilty. Any case of abuse or sexual assault regardless of age must be reported to the civil and statutory authorities. This has been done in this case. To ignore it, like in the past, means to be complicit in the alleged activity. In my professional view the right course of action has been taken from not only a civil point of view but a moral one also. Southampton old codger.

      Delete
    7. I myself have heard Dom Cuthbert refer to both of these men in the noviciate about the same time as him. I believe Thomas at least got as far as profession. I have a feeling they may have tried to raise concerns about Cuthbert at the time, without success. I also know for a fact that many people have tried to raise concerns about his behaviour and attitude, with the Subiaco-Cassinese congregation over the years. None of those things were actually criminal offences, just behaviours not suitable to a religious and cleric.
      My own opinion of Cuthbert was that he's a shit who wasn't bothered about amyone else. He would hound you if you got in his way, he was a liar and a bully. It would give me much pleasure if he got his collar fingered by the constabulary.
      And I'll promise the police one thing, his first words will be that it was all the other three, not him.
      It also doesn't surprise me that they also have complaints about other monks (although apart from Cuthbert only one other member of the community remains there from that time). I heard Farnborough in the 80s described as a cesspit by someone whose word I would trust and who I don't think was overstating it. The number of sexual intimacies going on in a small community must have made life interesting, to say the least.
      I really do wish validation and healing for Thomas, Matthew and the third complainant from this. Bad experiences gain such power over you.

      Delete
  21. That picture of him with the two chimps on either side is ridiculous. He looks like a pantomime dame. It's all gone too far. It is beyond laughable. It makes me ashamed to call myself Catholic. It wouldn't be hard to imagine those two good looking young lads falling prey to yet another abuser. i admire their courage to come forward.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The police and authorities will decide if there were victims and or wrong doers.

      Lets leave it to the police now.

      They are the independent professionals.

      Delete
  22. That photo of those three priests: a trinity of clericalism.

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  23. I will never understand it. The culture to abuse, deny and cover up. Is it everywhere in the Catholic clergy??

    I accept that only a few abuse but those who can act never appear to.

    Today I spoke with a Bishop about abuse that I suffered. He fobbed me off again saying he could not act because it happened before he was bishop. He also pointed out that this wasn't the first time I complained, nor the first time he said he'd not act. He went on to point out that if I continued to pursue the matter he would consider it harassment and abuse of him.

    What an absolutely horrible man.

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  24. Just go public about the abuse you suffered
    Tell the bishop to piss off
    Let the world know
    I will pray that you do

    ReplyDelete
  25. Are the actual perpetrators of your abuse still alive? Can you name any other definite victims of the same person who could be able to help corroborate your evidence? If you can answer yes to these questions, you should report your abuse straight to the police yourself.(That is not to imply,however,that if you have to answer no you must be lying. Indeed that is part of the difficulty, especially if it was some time ago. It's just that it would make it less likely that you would have the mental and emotional satisfaction of obtaining a satisfactory Court outcome to your case.

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  26. Have you thought about approaching the Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster and making a formal complaint?

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    Replies
    1. Farnsborough is in Portsmouth though so he'd not be likely to act

      Delete
  27. MourneManMichael6 January 2017 at 10:17

    Depending on the nature of your abuse, there are other avenues of redress. If criminal acts were involved, then going to the police or Garda (according to which jurisdiction the acts took place)is a necessary initial step.As Pat points out above, necessary investigations are down to them.
    From perspective of holding the RC institution to account, in view of the bishop's dismissive response, I would suggest a formal letter to him. This should be sent by recorded delivery, and state that you are putting on record your previous discussions with him, and itemising in detail what you have told him concerning the abuse;, the relevant dates you met the bishop; who else was present or involved/had knowledge of the meetng or arranged it; and stating what the bishop said in response.
    The letter should end with you stating you are not satisfied with his response, in view of which you are taking further formal action without specifyng what. Then copy the letter to .....? [And here +Pat and others are better placed to advise you to whom it should be copied.]
    Past evidence shows reluctance of the hierarchy to take action until forced to by external pressures. Good luck. It is your right to redress for any abuse experienced.
    MMM

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  28. All this stuff about Farnborough is very sad as it shows how ineffective Catholic religious congregations are when dealing with someone like Cuthbert. In the late 90s three monks ran away, allegedly because of the abusive situation and an enquiry was held by Abbot O'Keeffe and Abbot Aldhelm Cameron Brown. Maybe the police should invite them to comment.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm probably coming to this rather late but the number of novices who have left Farnborough is legion - you would expect a good 50% drop out rate from any noviciate but all the same...
      Any man considering joining a community with that rate of attrition would be well advised to reflect on the likelihood that he will end up leaving for the same reasons as all the others.
      The community has not been without scandal concerning choir and so on. The 'Another Abbot Extraordinary' blog had some very interesting things to say but of course was silenced by a solicitor's letter.
      Of course there is another difficulty for the Subiaco authorities: it is difficult to know what to do with Farnborough. The easiest thing is what they have done: let Cuthbert dig himself in and act as if there isn't a problem.
      Why does this course of action sound so familiar for the church?

      Delete
    2. I'm trying to gather the Farnborough disenfranchaised around this facebook page. I have also created a hidden "Secret" fb group to which I can add either those who "friend" me or who let me have the email address they use to log into fb. https://www.facebook.com/amorveritatis/?pnref=story

      Delete
  29. The cloak of anonymity is being used here to attack an Abbot on the basis of a report of a report to the police about something which allegedly occurred when the complainants were much younger, yet adults. Why have they waited so long? Why do anonymous contributors assume the Abbot has committed criminal activity. As an oblate of Farnborough I can say that I have found there a faith-filled experience of Benedictine life and count the monks as friends in Christ. The life there is not perfect. It's human! Please if you have something to say put your name to it. Pax

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    Replies
    1. Thank you for defending Farnborough and putting your name on your comment.

      Four ex novices have expressed concern and the police have been contacted.

      The Abbey may be completely exhonorated.

      We must live in an era of openess and transparency.

      I for one have not yet formed an opinion.

      Delete
    2. People who feel themselves to be the targets of abuse routinely take decades to come forward, it's one of the hallmarks.
      In addition to their own trauma, remember they are always dealing with people who build up elaborate webs of respectability and support for themselves.
      Jimmy Savile is the classic case of that - it turns out he was notorious and concerns were raised but nobody in power will admit to knowing.
      A clerical example would be Fr David Pearce at Ealing Abbey. He was a respected priest whom many adults considered a friend. Yet the school rugby team sang songs about his antics and nobody noticed.
      'It can't be happening in X Abbey' or 'Fr Y can't possibly be an abuser' create the web of secrecy in which abuse flourishes.
      The abuse victim also has to deal with the fact people will not believe him. Richard Sipe gave the prevalence of clerical sexual abuse as 10% to the Boston Globe. Be very wary if you think that this has surely changed now, because I for one am not seeing anything change.
      Yes an accused person should be fairly investigated, but this is an area full of obfuscation and duplicity.

      Delete
    3. So many people have either covered up or ignored Cuthbert's ways over the years. He is certainly looked at askance in the Congregation and his community is not taken seriously. What saves him is his bullying, litigious nature, the fact that he does not break the law and, finally, he has control of all the Abbey's finances by virtue of his being chair of the charities and having appointed friends as trustees.

      Delete
    4. Ah, yes, the charities... The commission's website indicates that the Right Reverend Abbot's administration of the charities is not exactly up to scratch:

      http://apps.charitycommission.gov.uk/Showcharity/RegisterOfCharities/CharityWithoutPartB.aspx?RegisteredCharityNumber=326241&SubsidiaryNumber=0

      And

      http://apps.charitycommission.gov.uk/Showcharity/RegisterOfCharities/CharityWithoutPartB.aspx?RegisteredCharityNumber=240701&SubsidiaryNumber=0

      The abbey is in many ways a chantry chapel, set up to pray for the repose of the Empress Eugenie's family. I wonder whether the amount of praying involved would explain non-submission of returns to the Commissioners?

      Delete
  30. MournemanMichael6 January 2017 at 22:17

    Yes Anon @ 21:52. You rightly point out some of the characteristics relating to the difficulties for victims. Regrettably their experiences fail to be appreciated by those with little understanding personally or professionally of the debilitating effects on the victims.
    MMM

    ReplyDelete
  31. Mr Brogan is a cancer in the history of Farnborough and the Roman Church. What is important here is his sexual manipulative behaviour while a novice!!! He should have been asked to leave but instead he has sought promotion resulting in a totally unsuitable character being a formation director. This being the fruits of his converting to Rome, It comes with relief he left the CofE

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  32. One post here writes the ex novices have 'axes to grind' The truth is that axes are only sharpen to cut out dead wood.

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  33. Has there been any action taken by the church/civic authorities against Cuthbert Brogan.

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  34. The Church authorities will be too scared, as they always are where he is concerned, and the police can only act if an actual crime is alleged

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  35. There is a live police investigation. I have not been notified to the contrary.
    Portsmouth diocese have emailed me that neither they nor the Catholic Safeguarding Advisory Service believe that acting comes within their safeguarding remit with regard to myself, as the police have advised me that in law, it is impossible to groom an adult and that as I was 18 - 20 and after 6 months of "Conditioning", I was initially not unwilling and then very soon actually initiating, the encounters were consensual and there was no offence. Portsmouth concur with me that my approach to the Abbot President of the Subiaco-cassinese congregation OSB to which Farnborough belongs, is the correct course of action for a complaint such as mine. After 11 days, no response, not even an acknowledgement from Italy, meanwhile, you might think that Portsmouth would be mindful of the moral and ethical implications and the chances that actual offences may have been committed against others and bring their own petitions to bear upon the abbot president to launch a thorough investigation and that Portsmouth might in the meanwhile, for safety's sake, subject to the outcome, remove D. Cuthbert from their SAFEGUARDING COMMITTEE!!! Yes! You couldn't make it up!!! http://www.portsmouthdiocese.org.uk/safeguarding/ Apparently he is there to advise regarding the peculiarities of religious life as distinct from diocesan / secular life. Dressed no doubt in flowery language, you can bet your life this will be in essence, keep your nose out! Talk about putting the fox in charge of the hen house! The trouble is, my not shouting it from the roof tops back in the day, because I believed we were both equals, novices who made a mistake, I wanted to leave, he wanted to stay, that I should support him and within my gift, protect him and allow him this second chance. I am proud of myself for doing this, but alas, I was wrong and so was everyone else who allowed him to progress without check or balance. Now he is very high up and doubtless knows everything about everybody and this is probably the biggest barrier to anything being done about it! I still hope to be proved wrong.

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  36. The Harvey Weinstein of the monastic world?

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