Tuesday, 21 November 2017


Dyfed-Powys Police confirm Caldey Island sex abuse reports

Caldey Abbey

Dyfed-Powys Police has told BBC Wales it received reports of historical sexual abuse perpetrated by a monk on Caldey Island in the 1970s and 1980s.
The force investigated in 2014 and 2016 but could not prosecute as the monk, Father Thaddeus Kotik, died in 1992.
The Guardian newspaper has reported that Caldey Abbey has paid compensation to six women who were abused as children.
BBC Wales has attempted to contact Caldey Abbey in Pembrokeshire.
Court papers seen by The Guardian said Kotik carried out the abuse between 1972 and 1987 and the women, who were on holiday at the time, believe there may be many more victims.
Kotik worked in the abbey's dairy and befriended families who regularly visited the island.
After gaining the trust of parents he would babysit the children and sexually abuse them, the papers suggest.
The women, who are not identified, said the abbey knew about the offences and failed to report Kotik to the police.


In civil proceedings against the abbey, they said it was liable for the alleged assaults which occurred on its property by Kotik who was charged with the safekeeping and care of the children.
The women said that Kotik "terrified them into silence" and said if they told anyone their parents would not want them and leave them on the island with him.
In 2014, one of the women e-mailed the current abbot of Caldey Abbey, Brother Daniel van Santvoort, and told him that the effect of the abuse had been catastrophic.
She said: "Father Thaddeus' perversion has left me with ongoing feelings and experience of severe anxiety, fear, guilt and sadness.
"I have lived my life feeling a deep and misunderstood level of self-hatred and an inability to trust and believe in another person truly loving me."
The Guardian reports Brother Daniel had heard allegations previously about Kotik and in response he wrote: "I have heard occasionally about this serious matter as regards Father Thaddeus."
He told her that the monastery knew about his offences and that he had been banned from contact with islanders and visitors in the 1980s but it had not been reported to the police.

Caldey Island

"I am fully aware now of this terrible criminal offence and Father Thaddeus should have... been handed over to the police - something that never happened," he added.
Brother Daniel forwarded the e-mails to Dyfed-Powys Police who asked for a formal statement which she submitted.
In response, a Dyfed-Powys Police spokesman said: "We can confirm that in 2014 and 2016 we received reports of non-recent sexual abuse that occurred at Caldey Island with the named offender being the deceased Thaddeus Kotik.
"These reports were recorded as crimes and victims contacted by police.
"During the investigation, information was obtained to confirm that the perpetrator was deceased and therefore a prosecution was not possible.
Appropriate professional support was offered and the matter was drawn to a close.
"Dyfed-Powys Police always encourages anyone who has suffered abuse to come forward and report it by calling 101."
Brother Daniel apologised to the woman but, according to the Guardian, during the legal proceedings the abbey claimed it had no knowledge of the abuse.

'Apology request'

The Guardian reported it also argued there was an "evidential disadvantage" in that none of the monks at the abbey during the time of the allegations were still alive and claimed it was not liable as the priest was not employed by the abbey to provide care for children.
The defence therefore required the claimants to prove each offence.
According to the Guardian, it also argued that the victims were out of time to sue for damages and it was not possible for the abbey to have a fair trial.
It is also reported that the abbey asked the court not to allow the claim because the seriousness of the allegations was likely to attract attention that may threaten the continued existence of the abbey.
The women accepted what the Guardian describes as "meagre" compensation payments and received no apology.
The solicitor representing the women, Tracey Emmott, told The Guardian: "It took the issuing of court proceedings before the out of court settlements were offered and even then my client's request for a formal apology as part of the settlement package was never forthcoming."


It's always very sad when someone is an abuser.

It's even sadder when the abuser is a priest.

And it's sadder again when that priest is a member of a monastic order with a solemn vow of chastity and who has, by appearances, forsaken the world to give their lives totally to God and be an example of virtue for the rest of us.

Of course when a man or a woman enters a religious order they take the man and woman with them - with all their weaknesses - and in this case all their criminal vices.

I know the monastery on Caldey.

When I was a priest in South Wales from in 1976 and 1977 we would have gone there on retreats.

It's a beautiful place and on those occasions, I was there it was easy to get in touch with God - given the spirit of the place and given its remote location.

To think that all that outer spirituality was shattered by one of the monks is very sad.

That monk is now dead and those innocent little girls will never see him punished.

It seems that they were made to go through the wringer by the monastery and the monks when they tried to bring their case - and their compensation was "meagre".

Another case of the institutional church failing to do justice.

Another case of co-abuse - in the sense that the monks made them suffer all over again :-(


  1. Clear example of the admitting the truth and offering support until the lawyers get involved and the victim sought cash.

    But perhaps they actually dont have the resources to pay big compo to all the victims?? Why shoukd all the living monks suffer eviction to compensate this lady? Why transfer tge suffering from one victim to a more victims just because the perpetrator is dead? Especilly when the money cant heal her.

    1. Yes, two wrongs won't make a right.

    2. 04:06 Financisl compensation is an important part of justice and restitution especially when trial and imprisonment is not possible.

      Big corporations like the RC Church only get the message when their deep pockets are affected!

    3. The Roman Church would not feel the pinch on these monks. The practicing catholic would miss their presence if they went bankrupt and sold out.

      Look at what they did do, and look at it from the point of view of that era. Back then bishops moved abusive priests around and gave them new opportunity. This monastary confined this monk to full enclosement. If he was being sued I'd say "fair game". But it is not him for he is dead. There is no justice in getting the remaining monks to pay out. That is but a 2nd injustice

  2. Pat, abuse of any kind is unacceptable, morally repugnant and life destroying. Historical abuse leaves an eternal scar. All of us in any role of Christian leadership must ensure the protection, safety and well being of of all. While condemning the criminal behaviour of some members or religious communities, we must not paint all with wide brushes. Having been to Caldey Monastery I have been blessed in a remarkable way, emotionally, spiritually and aesthetically. The sheer beauty is an epiphany and it's shameful that any person should have been abused in so beautiful a place..The present small comnunity I'm sure will meet their commitments. Again, your commentary Pat is as to be expected. A wide sweep of judgment and condemnation on the Church. Let us never forget the horrific abuse inflicted but let us in kindness pray for healing and strength for their lives.

    1. Amen to that. I agree with you.

    2. 9:25 You were lucky.

      Many little girls who went there were defiled.

      That deep, dark, black stain on the place can not be washed out with pious talk or spiritual Daz!

  3. Isn't it great that Al Porter is being dragged into the open. And that other RTE sicko as well. Your days are numbered.

    1. Didn't Al Porter speak about a great night of sex he had with a you g Irish priest at World Youth Day?

    2. He actually did! Pure and utter filth!

    3. What's filthy about sex. You're a sexual being. Does that make you filthy? Self-loathing?

    4. Pat, 13.08. With all the stories out about Al Porter, now I'm beginning to wonder if he initiated the great night if sex with a young priest on world youth day? His carreer is now in tatters.

  4. I recently ordered a selection of chocolate from that place. Still hasn't arrived. What has this to do with the above report? B*gg*r all, I suppose.

    Who is at fault here? Kotik, obviously. But also his fellow monks, trying to protect their reputation as holy men and their trade to holidaymakers and others. They should immediately have reported Kotik to the police, but the institutional Church has only a pharasaical interest in serving God. So you are right Bishop Pat, despite the objection of the poster at 09:25, to criticise the institution as co-abuser.

    1. Speak of the Devil! That chocolate arrived in the mail moments after my comment at 13:00 was posted.

    2. MC, when dioceses and monasteries receive reports of abuse they NEVER ask themselves "What would Jesus do"! Instead bishops, abbots and superiors lock themselves into smoke filled rooms with lawyers and others to plan damage limitation.

      That involves building massive walls for victims to scale and protecting their vast wealth.

      They behave like any other mafia or financial corporation.

      Jesus never gets a look in!

    3. Yes, Bishop Pat. And if serving Jesus here means selling Caldey monastery and grounds to cover the cost of compensating these victims, then so be it.

      Monks and priests should detach themselves from places and status, and attach themselves to Christ instead. He is their only need, and will provide for those who trust in him.

      Those monks do trust in him, don't they?

    4. Magna, you've surfaced after the weekend of hiding! Your comment today is predictable. Your narrative never changes but you're entitled to vent your biased interpretations. I notice you didn't offer any views re: Gerry Adsms yesterday, who was discussed after his Ard Fheis. You had nothing to say about the culture of sexual abuse and its cover up in the upper echelons of that organisation: you had nothing to say about the violence - physically, emotionally and mentally - which this group inflicted on innocent people: nothing about the disappeared about which G. Adams has information: nithing abiut the many deaths they caused. I guess you prefer to throw your judgment only where Church personnel are concerned. It's more suited to your obsessive hatred of all things Roman Catholic. Hypocrite....

    5. My 'narrative', 13:58, doesn't change because truth doesn't change.

      I didn't comment on Gerry Adams because the man doesn't particularly interest me.

      If you follow this blog, then you already know my opinion on violence: it ALL is wrong, whether committed by a republican, a loyalist, a policeman, or a soldier.

    6. 13.21. "What would Jesus do?" - a question you should apply to yourself Pat. You are just so blind to the way you "abuse" many clerics through this blog, so blind to your own arrogant self righteousness. You are a hypocrite, lacking in any real self awareness. Allow the question "What would Jesus do" rest in your heart and conscience....and be honest in answering the question..

    7. Actually Magna Carta's narrative changes all the time and is filled with bixarre inconsistencies. He just shoots off whatever is in his tiny mind at the time. The only consistencies are his feeling of superiority and his jealousy of Catholic priests, which would"t in the slightest be related to him being kicked out of seminary, would it rofl.

  5. Pat, I am feeling confused.... I enquired on your blog a few days ago if it would be possible to come and pray with the Little Brothers of the Oratory when I am in Belfast.
    I didn't receive a reply. I feel that you don't want me to come and pray with them. I am beginning to wonder if they exist at all.
    From one very disappointed reader.

    1. We spent last week setting up the house, simple chapel etc.

      I celebrated the first Mass there on Sat at 5pm.

      In the coming says I will do a blog with pics about it all and publish the times of the Offices and Mass.

      You and all will be welcome.

      We will work on a website, email address etc.

      If you are in Belfast - it will be 24 miles from you.

      I am out there today and tomorrow for Vespers at 4.30 and Mass at 5.

  6. Recently, a priest at Mass I attended, said that his reply to people when they bring up clergy abuse is to say it was just a few bad apples and is no reflection on anyone else. Frankly, I think the widespread conspiracy of silence and cover up which facilitated abuse,destroys that argument. Many clergy knew and didn't speak out. Those who did often found themselves ostracised. Unfortunately the Fr Tom Doyles were rare and that's a sad reflection on the entire church. To speak the truth and challenge the status quo would have put a priest on a collision course with ecclesiastical power which could have annihilated his ministry in a heartbeat.Unfortunately that's what clericalism can lead to, and the aforementioned Fr Doyle is not wrong when he labels clericalism a heresy.

    1. Clericalism is indeed a heresy.

    2. Fr Tom Doyle OP is a priest the Dominicans ought to be proud of.

  7. Magna is sittin' in yon hoodie jacket sampling the holy chocolate and the rest of us got nothing. It's not fair!

    1. Visit their website and order some; it's pricey, mind.

      I've just had extra dark with a cup of steaming, superbly made cappuchino. I've deprived Olympus of its ambrosia!

      Don't look at me in that way! Yer not gettin any. So there!😆

    2. I live in Tenby, on the mainland just near Caldey Island. I'll not comment on the abuse case except to say there is much, much more to come and both monastery and islanders have been complicit in sweeping this under the rug.

      Regarding the chocolate though - it's repackaged Cadburys.

    3. 09:39, is it really? I'm not convinced. Caldey milk selection is too sweet and textured for my palate, so it can't be from a Cadbury's recipe.

      Caldey's white selection is less sweet; but it isn't bland, and it's smoothly textured. (Cadbury's isn't particularly (if at all) known for a specialism in producing white chocolate.)

      But (oh!) the plain selection from Caldey (especially the extra dark) is reason enough for, well, Jesus' second coming, I suppose.

  8. Oh Magna.. you divil! Aw.. have pity!

  9. A photo of Father Thaddeus Kotik has appeared on the BBC Wales web site today.


  10. So they still making chocolate, no mention of their victims

  11. The difference between the teaching of Jesus and the response of the Catholic hierarchy is frequently commented on here, and rightly so. But there isn't a difference between the Catholic faith and Jesus's teaching. Do Catholics facilitate abuse? No - they fear God's judgement. If a Catholic knew he had urges to abuse children his only recourse would be to make sure he never actually harmed a child by removing the occasions of his sin, praying, sacraments, etc.
    I would question the holiness and Catholicity of the monastic experience at Caldey described above, if such repeated harm could happen and not be effectively stopped, including the perpetrator facing the law. Mark my words, in a monastery the monks know what each other are up to and frankly I wonder what else went on there if such harm was not stopped.
    The problem is not the Catholic faith it is that the Catholic faith is not believed or practised. An abbot who really feared God would have stopped this happening as soon as it happened.

  12. thank you so much for this. You were there when I was being abused then. The place inspired cult-like devotion from all our parents so we were never 'heard'. When we were my parents wanted me to shut up. It made me vow to leave home as soon as I possibly could. Love thy Neighbour? I always felt so so sorry for the unknown children - some unaccompanied day visitors who I saw abused. One girl in particular I recall. Fr Thaddaeus stuff his hand up her dress as she was getting over the wall just above Little Drinkim. She did not know what had happened. Her head twitched from side to side at 1 second intervals - in abject shock. I remember feeling rather sick, a mere nine or ten years old myself, except that it was happening to us several times a day. Pray for us, and for all the good people on the island, which were the majority.

    1. Thank you for sharing 20:53.

      Love & Prayers.

  13. Suppose eating and making chocolate covered up much.