Thursday, 6 April 2017

Monk 'who ran sex club involving young boys' at country's top Catholic School 'remained in his job for eight years after allegations were first made'
·         Father Jeremy Sierla allegedly ran 'sex club' for boys at Ampleforth College

·         He remained at Catholic school for eight years after allegations first made

·         Police told he would make pupils perform sex acts in their pyjamas 

·         Investigation began in 2004 but no charges were ever brought against him 

Father Jeremy Sierla, pictured, allegedly ran a 'sex club for young boys' at Ampleforth College in Yorkshire
A monk who allegedly ran a 'sex club' for young boys was allowed to remain at the country's top Catholic school for years after misconduct claims were first made.
Father Jeremy Sierla, 59, lived and worked at £30,000-a-year Ampleforth College until 2012, despite multiple misconduct allegations made against him more than eight years previously, the Times reported last night.
The monk would summon pupils to his study in their pyjamas, where they were given alcohol and asked to perform sex acts, former students told police in 2004.
A criminal inquiry began in 2004 but no charges were brought against Father Jeremy.
Police were so concerned about him, however, that a letter was written to the Department for Education (DfE) the following year advising that he was kept away from children, the Times reported.
Child protection professionals gave approval for Father Jeremy to remain at Ampleforth, however, and he did so until 2012, when the DfE told the school he should not be allowed on the grounds.
Father Jeremy, 59, has always denied any wrongdoing and said he 'gladly cooperated' with the authorities when he was investigated.
The monk adopted several personas to speak with young males in internet chatrooms, creating usernames including 'EasyGirl19,' police found when they searched his computer in 2004.
Detectives spoke to more than a dozen young men who attended the school's Junior House between 1990 and 1993 when Father Jeremy was housemaster.
Some recalled the monk whipping boys' bottoms with his habit, encouraging the pupils to tie him up, showering naked with them and putting his hands under their duvets, the Times reported.
Photos and video clips – none indecent - of Ampleforth pupils were found on Father Jeremy's computer, including one of a 12-year-old boy holding a rose in his mouth.

Father Sierla, 59, lived and worked at £30,000-a-year college, pictured, until 2012, despite accusations first being made against him eight years previously
The investigation was triggered when the same boy, in his early 20s by 2004, made allegations to police about abuse he claimed Father Jeremy had subjected him to.
The monk was not charged after prosecutors ruled there was insufficient evidence against him, and the CPS said the case file was destroyed years ago, the Times reported.
Father Jeremy continued to work in the abbey shop from 2004 to 2012 and posed for photographs to promote Ampleforth's own brand Abbey Beer.
A music teacher who joined Ampleforth in 2004 was jailed last week for sexually abusing a female student during violin lessons.

 A police investigation was launched into his conduct at the Yorkshire Catholic school, pictured, in 2004 but no charges were ever brought against him
Dara de Cogan, 58, received a 28-month sentence and will be on the sex offenders register for a decade.
A school spokesman said that Father Jeremy's continued presence at Ampleforth was approved at a meeting of safeguarding professionals in 2004 and that his case was reviewed again in 2007 by an independent safeguarding commission.
It took a further five years before the Department for Education (DfE)told Ampleforth he should not be allowed on school grounds. 
TheDfE said that it was unable to discuss individual cases but stressed it was 'paramount that children are protected at school and that there are robust safeguards in place'. 

It added: 'Where schools fail to meet standards, we will not hesitate to take action.'

Ampleforth monk posed as EasyGirl19 in web chatroom
Andrew Norfolk
April 6 2017, 12:01am, The Times
As an online username, EasyGirl19 seemed an unusual choice for a man of God.
It was, police discovered, one of several personas adopted by a middle-aged Benedictine monk in visits to internet chatrooms where he posed as a girl to speak with young males. Cyberbitch was another.
The alter egos came to light when police officers searched Father Jeremy Sierla’s computer in 2004 during a criminal inquiry into serious allegations made by a former pupil of Ampleforth College.
Detectives spoke to more than a dozen young adults who were at the school’s Junior House, for boys aged 10-13, when Father Jeremy was its housemaster from 1990-93.
They described a world, less than 30 years ago, when child safeguarding was seemingly such an alien concept to Britain’s leading Roman Catholic school that one man, with his whims and predilections, could shape young lives as he saw fit.
Some former pupils spoke positively of Father Jeremy, describing him as honest, firm but fair, a good influence and a fine educator. The majority remembered with some discomfort an intelligent but manipulative man who treated certain boys coldly and was rather too interested in some of their classmates. They spoke of him seeming to crave the company and attention of those he liked, often behaving as though he wanted to be not their housemaster but their best friend.
Boys outside the chosen circle watched as the priest who sent them on pre-dawn punishment runs indulged in horseplay with his favourites. He liked to tickle them and be tickled by them, they said.
They recalled that Father Jeremy often whipped boys’ bottoms with a loose part of his monk’s habit, pinched their bottoms in the swimming pool, encouraged pupils to tie him up with dressing-gown cords and shoelaces, put his hands under their duvets and sometimes showered naked with them.
In his study, after lights out, the young elite were invited to meetings at which they recalled being given port or sherry. Sometimes, inhibitions loosened by alcohol, the talk turned to sex.
Father Jeremy was said to have encouraged such discussions. Former pupils claimed that some boys exposed themselves and openly masturbated. Their housemaster, they said, made no attempt to stop them.
When police searched his room and examined his computer after his arrest ten years later, they are understood to have found numerous images of young men exposing their genitals.
Officers also discovered a large collection of photographs and video clips — none indecent — of Ampleforth pupils past and present. One photograph was of a 12-year-old Junior House boy holding a rose in his mouth.
The same boy, by then in his early 20s, triggered the 2004 inquiry when he told police of extensive childhood sexual abuse that he claimed to have suffered at the hands of Father Jeremy.
After a thorough investigation, the police file was sent to the Crown Prosecution Service. Detectives who worked on the case were hopeful that criminal charges would follow.
Prosecutors ruled there was insufficient evidence to charge Father Jeremy with any offence. The CPS said the case file was destroyed several years ago. The decision dismayed those who worked on the inquiry. A source said they “felt it was strongly in the public interest to prosecute Jeremy Sierla”. “We wanted him out of Ampleforth so he wouldn’t be a risk to pupils in the future. From what we learnt about him . . . we didn’t think he should be allowed anywhere near a school.”
The parents of the former pupil who made the abuse allegations were informed that the head of the inquiry, Detective Superintendent Barry Honeysett, arranged a meeting with the Ampleforth authorities after criminal charges were ruled out. It was requested, they were told, because police were concerned about the prospect of Father Jeremy having continued access to boys. He was, nevertheless, allowed to remain at Ampleforth for a further eight years.
From 2004 to 2012, he worked in the abbey shop, in the school’s main hall. He also featured in newspapers and broadcasts promoting Ampleforth’s own-label Abbey Beer.
Ampleforth is understood to have told care inspectors that it was “preferable for him to be under the supervision of the abbey, rather than unsupervised elsewhere in the diocese”.
A school spokesman said that Father Jeremy’s continued presence at Ampleforth was approved at a meeting of safeguarding professionals in 2004 and that his case was reviewed again in 2007 by an independent safeguarding commission. It took a further five years before the Department for Education (DfE) told Ampleforth he should not be allowed on school grounds.
The DfE said that it was unable to discuss individual cases but stressed it was “paramount that children are protected at school and that there are robust safeguards in place”. It added: “Where schools fail to meet standards, we will not hesitate to take action.”
The Times understands the North Yorkshire police first contacted the DfE in 2005 to voice concern at the potential risk posed to children by Father Jeremy. This led to him being listed as a “barred” individual, but not to his removal from Ampleforth.
Father Jeremy, 59, has always denied any wrongdoing. He said that he “gladly co-operated” with all the authorities that investigated him.
The Times revealed last year how the school covered up a potential scandal in 1989 when 11 Junior House boys complained of being touched, stroked and kissed by another teacher.
Adding to a long list of Ampleforth offenders, a music teacher who joined the school in 2004 was jailed last week for sexually abusing a female pupil during violin lessons. Dara de Cogan, 58, received a 28-month sentence and was placed on the sex offenders register for ten years.

The school charges annual fees of more than £33,000. Former pupils include the actor Rupert Everett, the writer Julian Fellowes and the former rugby player Lawrence Dallaglio.


The English Benedictines have had a gay culture since Davey Crockett was in the cradle.

If you visit one of their monasteries you will be immediately struck by the "Friends of Dorothy" whiff in the air.

There have been and are many a monk on monk relationship in the English Benedictines.

Of course these are relationships involving consenting adults and in private and are therefore perfectly legal in the civil sense.

What it means when you realise that every monk takes A Solemn Vow of Chastity is another question?

Of course there is a universe of difference between two legal age monks having a bit of "How's Your Father" and an adult male monk having sexual dealings with an underage person.

And there is the other ethical and moral question of the monks being in loco parentis for the boys.


Image result for quarr abbey

I am told that the Benedictines send all their naughty monks to Quarr Abbey on the Isle of Wight?


  1. That mst be a very Quare Abbey on the Isle of Wight!

    1. It is a Quare Abbey, pictures can be deceptive. A lot of Quare Hawks have inhabited it over the years.

  2. Queer Abbey! lol

  3. I spent nearly two decades around Benedictines in England and the only place that came up smelling of roses was Quarr. Quarr's difficulties are more of recruitment, retention, and linguistic isolation from the predominantly French-speaking Solesmes congregation it belongs to. Also they live a rather different form of Benedictine life from the EBC.
    As for Sierla: things have not changed in the Catholic church, but someone's bound to make out you have an anti-Catholic bias.
    Personally the rugby-school-head-boy-morning-offering ethos is more what strikes me of Ampleforth rather than a friends of Dorothy whiff? Yes, you can find isolated campness but it has never seemed widespread. In fact I remember a Stanbrook nun asking if I enjoyed the 'Ampleforth chill' - and she wasn't talking about the weather.

  4. Hmmm this makes a letter he wrote in 1994 seem rather chilling:

  5. Cuthbert (Abbot Cuthbert Brogan)and I, had our pre profession retreat at Quarr in 1989. That's a lovely picture there Pat. I don't know if they still do it, but for Vespers they would really fill a thurible with charcoal and when incense was added to cense the alter during the magnificat it would waft up in a huge plume which was quite breathtaking! (luckily the church is quite cavernous and so..not literally!!! lol.. choke!)Apart from nods and winks between Cuthbert and another about "Orientation" (rather went over my head, but I took it as innuendo) apart from that everything at Quarr seemed fine to me at that time. I read Aelred of Rievaulx's "Christian Friendship" and was feeling more positive about the religious life at the start of the week, but towards the end was feeling less so. I shouldn't have made profession really, but was carried along. Follow links on my profile anyone not aware of my story who would like to know more. As for the ampleforth situation... failure to act in a timely manner and avoid damaging the healthy development of young people...depressingly familiar. Thoughts and prayers for all. x

    1. Interested in your story - where can I find out more information about you - i went on the google page - its all facebook things - I dont use facebook?

    2. Whatever became of Cuthbert Brogan as he seems to have moved around a lot, he was in Westminster, Birmingham for a time and is floating around the North East somewhere now. He may have retired but he did show up being a Mitred Abbot at many high profile eclessial events and then suddenly did a disappearing act.

    3. Seems very late 1989 for the abbot to be doing his pre profession retreat - what was he doing before this?

    4. Cuthbert - is ABBOT of Ampleforth - elected twice to the role. He stepped aside last year for about a year while an investigation was taking place - but he is back now again in the role.

    5. Cuthbert Madden is Abbot of Ampleforth but we are talking here about a completely different Cuthbert, Cuthbert Brogan who is Abbot of Farnborough. Please establish the correct facts.

    6. @11:38 Thank you. Try this

  6. Slightly off the topic of sex abuse but how can the RC Church in Northern Ireland demand the end of selection by academic ability at the age of 11 when it promotes selection, based on wealth, in its private schools in the Republic and places like Ampleforth that cost 30k a year for a secondary level student.What are the fees for an education in certain Catholic run schools in the South? Is it fine that the kids of the middle an upper middle classes be taught by Jesuits and Dominicans while the brood of the hoi polloi can rot? Or does 30k just guarantee a better class of abuser, one that can recite Ovid while buggering your kids?

  7. Pre profession retreat, Tom Wood, and you cant even spell Altar? Come of it, pull the other one it has bells on it!

    1. @08:55 "Come OF it!" ;-)

      (I'm not sure if I can present any evidence at all that I did a pre profession retreat at Quarr as stated. We did go to St. Cecilia's if anyone there remembers?)

    2. @08:55 PS: "Cant even spell" ;-)

    3. Lol very good Tom

    4. Magna Carta [sic] is Tom Wood. Hit a nerve there did I?

    5. Hey Tom I have spent the morning reading the bio on your page - very interesting man! Remember the Lord loves you - you have value x

  8. The report in the Daily Mail, which picked up on the lead in yesterdays London Times is not all that it appears. If you actually read the article in The Times you will see that this poor monk has been investigated and removed from his monastery on the uncorroborated allegations of one person. A person who has had a long history of psychiatric and psychological problems. Now it may well be the case that these are the result of the trauma that he has experienced as a result of being sexually abused, but it may well also be the case that the monk is entirely innocent of sexual abuse and has been the victim in this case. I presume that is why the CPS did not charge him with any criminal activity that could have been throughly tested in a court of law. The other allegations amount to no more than indiscreet horseplay between an emotionally immature man put in charge of boys who seemed to run riot around him. A bit of balance please. Quite often all is not as it appears in this press sensations.

    1. And your explanation of the stuff on his computer is????

    2. MournemanMichael7 April 2017 at 11:04

      Thanks for your comments Anon@09.00. They are thoughtful and well balanced. I too have concerns about 'stories ' with little reliable facts but too much innuendo.
      My previous comments will show I'm no defender of wrongdoing and certainly no friend of the RC clerical establishment. In matters of child protection strategies of prevention are necessary where there is a suspicion and such action ordinarily should take precedence and certainly not await firm proof. That threshold is too high when child vulnerability is at stake.

  9. Pat I have been saying for a long time - you need to do a blog on the Benedictians.

    1. Benedictians? Shurely Shome Mishtake? Benedictines!

    2. Ha ha! Nice one...! (Pass him the loan of your false teeth?)

  10. Pat is it possible to do a blog on the state of all the different seminaries in Ireland - UK - Rome please. (Maynooth , Allen Hall, Wonersh, Oscott, Irish College, English college, BEda)

    1. Maynooth is Gaynooth.

      Allen Hall is Alice Hall.

      The Irish College in Rome is The Pink Palace.

      And so on...........

  11. Why then did both the politics and Department for Education urge that this monk in question should not be allowed near the grounds of the monastery? I'm sure they didn't issue this warning on the basis of hearsay and a bit of horseplay. I would think in this day and age for a monk to be engaging in any form of horseplay with a boy is totally inappropriate and shows a lack of maturity and boundaries. Thank You.

  12. Further to my comment at 11.41 which I now wish to retract it meant to say Cuthbert Johnson NOT Cuthbert Brogan who is now Abbot of Farnborough. Cuthbert Johnson died early this year so I will say no more in relation to Johnson who became the fourth Abbot of Quarr. Apologies to Abbot Brogan for this mistake.

    1. Abbot Cuthbert Brogan is the abbot of Ampleforth not Farnborough '??

    2. I was surprised to hear that Cuthbert Johnson had died. Does Quarr have an abbot now?

  13. For heavens sake, Cuthbert Madden is the Abbot of Ampleforth. As 12.29 correctly said Cuthbert Brogan is Abbot of Farnborough. 12.29 had the decency and humility to correct his own mistake, perhaps you can do the same 12.44

  14. Seems to me there are too many Abbots called Cuthbert, no wonder there is so much confusion lol. Do you know why there has been the same Abbot at Portglenone Pat for so many years? I presumed it would be healthier for a community to have a change every so often. I'm told he doesn't spend much time there anyway as he is often away travelling. Is he a mitred Abbot I wonder? Just curious.

    1. Portglenone is a mitred abbot.

      There are very few monks to choose from.

      He is a set in his ways oul fella.

    2. When David Brogan joined F'bro he had to change his name because at the time there were just so many Davids! I'll try and remember:

      Dom David Higham (Prior superior formerly Dom Placid)
      Br David Minton (Former lay brother)
      Dom Andrew (David Southwell)
      Dom Aiden (David Cotter)

      Given the propensity for confusion perhaps he might consider going back to David, though as pointed out by someone earlier, with the sad passing of Cuthbert Johnson, there is now one less.

    3. MourneManMichael8 April 2017 at 01:39

      Please explain in simple terms what a 'mitred abbot' is. I googled it but didn't find it particularly helpful other than to get the impression that they were a kind of "quasi-bishop" like figure, but only so within their own community, and not subject to the requirements of a local diocesan bishop.

  15. This church story seems to have more layers than an onion and the talk goes round and round. As the argument deepens there seems to be less focus on realistic and positive change

  16. At least the dirty buggers are Maynooth are focusing on the chronologically gifted nowadays.