COMMISSION OF INVESTIGATION -- REPORT INTO THE CATHOLIC ARCHDIOCESE OF DUBLIN
Chapter 36 Fr Daryus*104
36.1 Fr Daryus was ordained in the 1950s and served in a number of parishes throughout the Archdiocese, finishing as a parish priest. He died in the 1990s.
36.2 In the early 1960s, another priest reported to the Archdiocese that Fr Daryus was involved with a young girl. It is not known what age she was and there is no documentary evidence about the matter. Fr Daryus was treated by a psychiatrist in the 1960s but there is no evidence that this was related to child sexual abuse.
36.3 There were complaints against Fr Daryus in relation to aggressive and arrogant behaviour in the early 1990s and the Archdiocese was considering removing him from his position when complaints of sexual abuse emerged.
36.4 In October 1994, two complaints of sexual abuse were made against Fr Daryus. One was from a woman who complained that she had been digitally raped by him in the late 1960s when she went to him for advice about becoming a nun. She was 18 years old at the time. Fr Daryus admitted that he had abused her but played down the extent of the abuse. This case does not involve child sexual abuse so the Commission did not undertake an examination of how it was handled. However, the Commission notes that the Archdiocese was kind and helpful to this woman and that she was extraordinarily charitable towards Fr Daryus.
36.5 The other complaint, which was also made in October 1994, was one of child sexual abuse. A young man complained that he had been abused by Fr Daryus in the mid 1960s while he was an altar boy. The abuse involved groping and fondling his private parts. The complainant believed that others were abused as well. The priest was known to the boys as “sexy [Daryus].”
36.6 Bishop O‟Mahony met the former altar boy complainant in October 1994. In November 1994, he met Fr Daryus. Bishop O‟Mahony was not then aware of the woman‟s complaint. Fr Daryus denied the young man‟s allegations and pointed out a discrepancy in dates. Bishop O‟Mahony believed the priest‟s denial. Subsequently, the complainant corrected his assessment of the dates and said that the abuse occurred in the late 1960s. In December 1994, the complainant asked Bishop O‟Mahony to do nothing further about the complaint.
36.7 Fr Daryus was persuaded to resign in December 1994. The usual letter of thanks for his service was issued.
36.8 In October 1995, the complainant contacted Bishop O‟Mahony again and said that he stood over everything in his statement of 1994. Arrangements were made for counselling for the complainant. Bishop O‟Mahony and Monsignor Dolan met Fr Daryus. The situation is rather confusing but it seems that Fr Daryus denied the allegation when he met Bishop O‟Mahony and Monsignor Dolan on 23 October 1995. Subsequently it appears that Fr Daryus admitted the allegation to Bishop O‟Mahony. This admission was not immediately known to Monsignor Dolan and this initially caused confusion when Monsignor Dolan was dealing with the complainant.
36.9 In any event, Monsignor Stenson reported the allegation to the Gardaí in November 1995.
36.10 The complainant made a statement to the Gardaí in March 1996. Fr Daryus was interviewed in the presence of his solicitor and he did not answer any questions about the allegations. In August 1996, the DPP decided not to prosecute because of the lapse of time since the alleged abuse had occurred – approximately 30 years.
36.11 The complainant issued civil proceedings against Fr Daryus and the Archdiocese in May 1996. Later in 1996, a settlement was reached with Fr Daryus and the case against the Archdiocese was discontinued. The Archdiocese paid the priest‟s legal costs. A short time later, Fr Daryus died.
36.12 The complainant contacted the Archdiocese again in 1998. He met Archbishop Connell in 2002. He was in touch with the Child Protection Service in 2005.
The Commission’s assessment
36.13 This priest was effectively removed from his position as soon as the allegations were made in October 1994. The fact of two unrelated complaints probably facilitated this move. Initially Bishop O‟Mahony dealt well with the altar boy complainant but the Commission is concerned that Monsignor Dolan was not immediately informed of Fr Daryus‟s admission in October/November 1995.
37.1 Fr Terentius is a member of a religious order. He was born in the 1930s and ordained in the 1960s. He was a curate in the Archdiocese of Dublin in the 1970s and 1980s. He served as a missionary for a number of years both before and after his time in the Archdiocese. He also worked publicly in Ireland on behalf of his order for a number of years before complaints were made.
37.2 The Commission is aware of three complaints of child sexual abuse in respect of his time in the Archdiocese of Dublin. Two of these complaints were made within one month of each other in late 1994 - this appears to be entirely coincidental but may be linked to the furore caused by the Brendan Smyth affair. One complaint was made directly to the order and the other was made initially to the Archdiocese. The third complaint was made in 1998 but the alleged victim did not personally make this complaint. In the course of dealing with these complaints, Fr Terentius admitted to “a series of incidents” involving a total of six boys, starting in 1960 and including incidents while on the missions. His therapist was of the view that there were probably “loads” of victims.
37.3 Fr Terentius has been living under strict supervision within the order since the complaints were made.
First complaint, 1994
37.4 The first complaint was made to the order106 in November 1994 by the sister of the victim. She said the abuse occurred when her brother (who was now in his late 20s) was about 13 or 14 years old. Fr Terentius was well known to her family and was trusted by them. He had brought the young boy and another boy on a trip. Subsequently Fr Terentius asked the boy to help him in his house. The boy was reluctant to go but his parents insisted that he go. Fr Terentius gave him dinner and alcohol. The boy was sick and Fr Terentius brought him to his (the priest‟s) bed where he abused him.
37.5 At this stage the victim was not aware that a complaint was being made. His sister wanted to be sure that Fr Terentius did not have access to children but did not want anything else done.
37.6 The head of the order briefed the superior of the house where Fr Terentius was living and asked him to supervise. Fr Terentius was ill at the time so the matter was not put to him immediately. At this time, the order, like most other Church and State institutions, had no procedure in place, other than that specified in canon law, for dealing with such complaints but it immediately set about putting one in place. The order reported the complaint to Monsignor Alex Stenson, the chancellor of the Archdiocese of Dublin, who told the order that he made inquiries of the area bishop and there was nothing further to report.
37.7 In December 1994, the sister told the victim that she had made the complaint. He then wanted to meet the order and see what kind of help he could get. He did not want to press charges.
37.8 The superior and other senior members of the order met Fr Terentius and told him of the complaint. Fr Terentius admitted that one incident of child sexual abuse had occurred. The order was in the process of dealing with this complaint when the second complaint came to light.
37.9 The second complaint was made in December 1994 to the Archdiocese of Dublin by the victim and his mother. Monsignor Stenson met them and made a detailed note of the meeting. The complainant was an altar boy in the church to which Fr Terentius was attached when he was serving in the Archdiocese. The abuse took place when the boy was about 13-14 years old (around 1977). The abuse occurred in Fr Terentius‟s house and involved hugging, embracing and fondling of private parts. The boy escaped because the telephone rang. On the day following the abusive incident, he told his mother what had happened. She confronted Fr Terentius who responded “I was drunk”. She did not accept this. Some days later she suggested to Fr Terentius that he go and see a charismatic priest with whom she was familiar. She also spoke to this priest and asked that “the specific matter be dealt with”. He confirmed that they had discussed “the matter”. The mother suspected that there were other victims in the parish and she provided the name of a family. Both the complainant and his mother said they would be willing to confront Fr Terentius.
37.10 Monsignor Stenson advised the complainant and his mother to report the matter to the Gardaí. Monsignor Stenson contacted the head of the order. The complainant subsequently said that Monsignor Stenson was “very apologetic” on receiving his complaint and that he was very kind and respectful to his mother and to him.
37.11 The head of the order contacted the mother immediately and apologised. In a series of telephone calls, it was clear that the mother was very forgiving. She said that her son did not propose to take any further action. The order assured her that Fr Terentius had no contact with young boys; he was not exercising any ministry and they were organising a treatment programme for him. The order was not in direct contact with her son at this time.
37.12 The superiors of the order had a meeting with Fr Terentius who now admitted to a series of incidents involving six boys in total, including the incidents involving the two complainants, and one involving an 18-year-old. Fr Terentius was reluctant to go on a treatment programme but was persuaded to do so. The order set out the following restrictions on him:
He could not leave the premises without the consent of the head of the order;
He could have no contact whatever with young boys, including altar boys;
He could have no contact with people who reported the incidents;
He could not exercise any pastoral ministry whatever, even evening weekly mass (the priest found this last stipulation very hard to accept).
37.13 Arrangements were made to send him to Stroud. Stroud asked for a letter setting out the concerns, examples of the problems and any other helpful information. In his referral letter, the head of the order outlined the problems as:
Alcohol abuse: this had been discussed with him on a few occasions and he had not accepted that he needed to follow a recovery programme;
Child sexual abuse: “As a result of an investigation into a recent allegation of sexual abuse by [Fr Terentius] of a young boy (13 to 14 years), some twelve to fifteen years ago, we have become concerned about the existence of other inappropriate sexual contacts by him with other boys around the same time”.
37.14 Fr Terentius was sent to Stroud in January 1995. After assessment, he first undertook the addictions programme and then the psychosexual treatment programme.
Contact with complainants
37.15 In January 1995, the first complainant wrote to the order saying he had no intention of making a formal complaint; he just wanted to ensure that there would be no recurrence. The order replied offering an apology and assuring him that Fr Terentius was not in a position to be involved in a similar betrayal of trust.
37.16 The second complainant‟s mother continued to be in touch with the order. The order arranged a meeting with this complainant which took place in July 1995. At the meeting, he said that he was pleased to have been contacted, he did not want anything from the order, he did not intend to go to court, he would like to meet Fr Terentius after he completed his programme, he wanted to keep in contact in the future, and he was grateful for the recognition – that was his main aim. The head of the order told him that he was entitled to go to the Gardaí and seek a legal solution. The complainant said he would not do that and was not interested in money. He sought recognition of the wrong done to him and an assurance that Fr Terentius would not be in a position to do it again.
37.17 In September 1995, it emerged that Fr Terentius had been drinking while in Stroud and had been doing so since March. He was transferred to another treatment centre. The authorities in Stroud suggested that the order should suspend him from any active public ministry and withdraw all priestly faculties. They also suggested that he be asked to pay for some of his treatment himself as he was clearly fairly well off and was in the process of buying a car in the UK which he intended to bring back to Ireland.
37.18 Fr Terentius wrote to the order expressing great shame and remorse. The head of the order replied expressing his deep disappointment and sadness but also his support. He suspended Fr Terentius from public ministry and was awaiting a meeting of the governing body of the order before deciding on the removal of faculties. He asked Fr Terentius to pay half the costs of his current treatment. Fr Terentius was shocked at the suspension.
37.19 The order was in touch with the first complainant‟s sister. She reported further concerns from another sister. They discussed contacting the Gardaí; the order was willing to do so but the complainant did not want this.
37.20 Fr Terentius completed a primary treatment course in the second therapeutic facility. As a place in Stroud was not available until December 1995, a new place had to be found. He moved to a care home for drug and alcohol dependents in early November. In early December, he returned to Stroud. He wanted to drive himself there but this was not approved and the order arranged for him to be accompanied. He was asked by the order not to use his car while in Stroud. In fact, Stroud took his car keys. (Later, the order advised him to sell the car. He did this and gave the proceeds to the order as part payment for his treatment; he subsequently made another contribution to the cost.)
37.21 The personnel in Stroud were of the view that it was unlikely that they would recommend Fr Terentius for return to ministry; they considered he was manipulative and untrustworthy; the likelihood of a relapse was very high and the order was going to have a “big problem handling the situation” when he left Stroud. He left there and returned to live in one of the order‟s houses in Ireland in July 1996. On leaving, the assessment was that he had “almost no internal inhibitors upon which to rely once he leaves residential treatment”. Because of this, it would “be an absolute necessity that a great deal of external inhibitors be put in place” in order to help him manage his sexual addiction. He would need 24-hour monitoring and supervision and ought never travel alone or be in public ministry.
37.22 On his return, the order imposed the following conditions:
He was not allowed to leave the house without the permission of the superior.
He must be accompanied when leaving the house at all times.
He could not celebrate public mass.
He was not allowed be the principal celebrant in the oratory.
The order would look for a suitable job which would not include contact with minors.
37.23 He also began individual and group therapy.
37.24 The order reported the allegations to the Gardaí in July 1996 in accordance with the procedures of the Framework Document. The names of the complainants were not given as they did not want this. The Gardaí were told that Fr Terentius was retired and not engaged in any ministry.
37.25 Fr Terentius was given office work within the order. In a follow up visit, Stroud was impressed with the supervision arrangements. Fr Terentius followed the Stroud continuing care programme until 1998 and was also seeing a therapist locally, initially once every two weeks and subsequently once a month. He was also attending AA meetings and was always accompanied when he left the house.
37.26 In April 1997, Archbishop Connell wrote to the order (he wrote to all relevant orders at the time) asking if the allegations against Fr Terentius had been addressed. He was not “looking for specific detail, merely simple confirmation that the Diocese can close its files in their regard. My sole purpose in making this enquiry is to eliminate the risk that at some future date, for whatever reason, the concerns raised may appear to have been overlooked”. The order replied reassuring the Archbishop that the alleged offences had been addressed, that Fr Terentius underwent appropriate treatment and was now engaged in work which precluded him from contact with young children and there was ongoing supervision by a senior member of the order.
37.27 In November 1997, the wife of the second complainant telephoned the head of the order to say that her husband was upset that contact had not been maintained. She said the head of the order had promised to keep in touch and to arrange a meeting with Fr Terentius. The head did not think he had promised this and there is no evidence in the documents that he had. The head phoned the complainant and updated him on the current status of Fr Terentius. He explained that the order had been advised against a meeting between the complainant and the priest but that, if the complainant wanted it, it would be arranged. The head then met the complainant and his wife in December 1997. The complainant said that the order had not been in touch since the last meeting over two years earlier. He was angry and not sure what he wanted. He talked about a financial settlement and about going public. He said he wanted counselling and to meet Fr Terentius. The head pointed out that it is not recommended that victims meet their abusers. This complainant was not entirely convinced about this but agreed to wait until after counselling. The order was in touch with him several times during 1998.
Third complaint, 1998
37.28 The order was also in touch with the first complainant‟s sister and, in May 1998, she alleged that her sister had also been abused by Fr Terentius.
37.29 The order offered to meet the sister who had allegedly been abused but she did not want to make a complaint. The allegation was not put to Fr Terentius as there was no specific complaint or allegation.
37.30 Meanwhile, Fr Terentius was continuing with the Stroud continuing care programme. He was expressing some unhappiness about his work environment, particularly his treatment by his immediate superior. These complaints were, in the Commission‟s view, relatively trivial and the order was very patient in dealing with them.
37.31 In June 1998, the order again met the second complainant. The complainant said he had become very angry and aggressive since starting counselling. He felt that the fact that the order was paying for the counselling meant the Church was still in control. He intended to cease counselling. He talked about a financial settlement but did not want to go to court. He said he could use money for a holiday and for counselling over which he would have control.
37.32 There was another meeting in July 1998. The head of the order told the complainant that Fr Terentius had agreed to meet him and that he (the head) would be present at the meeting. The question of compensation was discussed. The head told the complainant and his wife that the order was not responsible for the priest‟s transgressions. The order wanted to keep the question of compensation separate from the pastoral response. The order did not want to get involved in paying money to any parties and refused to take any legal responsibility for the action of one of its priests.
37.33 In July 1998, the first complainant‟s mother rang to complain that the order had not kept an appointment with her. It would appear that such an appointment had not been made. She was looking for compensation for her son as he was on expensive medication. The head of the order met this complainant and his parents. His sister contacted the head of the order and told him that she had contacted the health board for the area in which Fr Terentius was living but was told that the abused person would have to be in contact. She said she had also reported to a young priest in her parish soon after the incident happened and nothing had been done.
37.34 In September 1998, the second complainant told the order that he was considering legal action if the order did not make some offer. The order continued contact and meetings with both complainants and their family members. Both complainants wanted an out of court settlement and were mainly looking for expenses.
37.35 In November 1998, the head of the order met Monsignor John Dolan, the chancellor of the Archdiocese of Dublin, to update him on developments in this case.
37.36 The first complainant wrote directly to Fr Terentius seeking his medical expenses. Fr Terentius replied offering him about one third of the amount claimed and said that this was all he could afford. The complainant accepted this and also accepted the order‟s offer of a charitable donation to cover some of the medical expenses. This was arranged with a charity which specialises in helping victims of abuse; the order regarded arranging this as part of its pastoral response.
37.37 In December 1998, the second complainant met Fr Terentius. The meeting was mediated by the head of the order. Fr Terentius apologised to the complainant and the meeting was amicable. Subsequently, Fr Terentius sent him an unsolicited sum of money.
37.38 The order remained in touch with the complainants in 1999.
37.39 At this stage, Fr Terentius was still engaging in individual and group therapy. He now wanted some of the restrictions removed as he considered that the two complainants seemed to have settled matters with him. In July 1999, he complained to the order about not being allowed to go on holidays alone. In May 2000, his therapist recommended that he should not be allowed to travel alone. In October 2000, the therapist pointed out that Fr Terentius was working fine in therapy but there was no evidence of how he would be in another environment. She suggested gradual change “maybe”, but no drastic change. She mentioned that Fr Terentius had written his life story, copies of which he was distributing to his friends, but it did not refer at all to the sexual abuse and she wondered if the sexual dimension of his life had been integrated. At her suggestion, the order contacted Stroud for advice on this issue. Stroud urged caution.
37.40 In November 2000, the order discovered that the priest had been drinking and he admitted he had not attended AA since 1998. He was still agitating to be allowed to holiday alone. He argued that a holiday was “a fundamental human right”. The head of the order replied that the right of children to be protected from abuse was a superior right.
37.41 In June 2001, Fr Terentius‟s therapist said she could not achieve any more but said that the priest did need ongoing support. She considered that he “is by no means free or cured of the underlying concerns” but that he thought he was and his discontinuation of counselling indicated this. The therapist said he should go back to AA and she did not recommend holidaying alone. He did go back to AA and remained angry at the continuing restrictions.
37.42 It is notable that Fr Terentius‟s perception of the views of his therapist was often markedly different from those views as recorded by the head of the order.
Granada report, 2001
37.43 In September 2001, Fr Terentius was sent to the Granada Institute for a reassessment. Stroud was no longer providing this service. The head of the order provided Granada with a summary of the priest‟s situation from notes which he had compiled over the years.
37.44 The report from Granada was issued in November 2001. Psychometric testing was carried out and the following documents were taken into account: the referral letter from the order, the summary of notes from therapists provided by the order and the priest‟s life story (which, as is noted above, did not make reference to sexual abuse).
37.45 The Commission considers the Granada report to be seriously deficient in many respects:
The report states that two allegations of sexual abuse were made but that he had not admitted to any others – this is not true; he had admitted to several incidents involving six boys. Further, his therapist in the initial stages of his treatment had expressed the view that there were likely to have been “loads of victims”. Granada pointed out to the Commission that the therapist‟s views were not substantiated. However, it is clear from the order‟s referral notes that he had admitted to abusing more than two boys.
The report states that the two boys were aged 17 at the time – this is untrue, they were aged 13/14. Granada told the Commission that this information was reported by the priest and that the assessment was based “on the assumption that the ages of the victims ranged between 13 years to over 16 years”.
The report states that he had “successfully completed a treatment programme for sex abusers in 1996”. The Commission finds it surprising that this can be stated when the full report from Stroud was not seen by Granada and that Granada did not ask for the full report.
The report states that he “continues to have therapy on an individual basis” – it is not clear if this is true. He seems to have been seeing a spiritual advisor but not a therapist at this stage.
37.46 The report concluded that Fr Terentius:
was at low risk of sexually re-offending;
needed to be supported in his present alcohol free state;
should continue to avoid any unsupervised contact with any children;
should continue with counselling to deal with his anger;
should be allowed to go on holiday and travel abroad without restriction.
37.47 As a result of this assessment, Fr Terentius was allowed to travel abroad on three occasions with a company specialising in holidays for older people. All his travelling companions were aged 50 or over. He was forbidden to interact with minors while on holidays. The head of the order told the Commission that he felt bound by the findings of the Granada report which recommended that he be allowed to travel.
37.48 Fr Terentius continues to live within the order and is subject to the restrictions described above. The order maintains an “open door” policy towards the complainants – they can get in touch whenever they want.
The Commission’s assessment Church authorities
37.49 Responsibility for the wrong done in clerical child sexual abuse cases rests squarely with the offending priest. The authorities cannot undo the wrong but they can help to mitigate the harm by dealing properly with the complainants and the offender. In this case, the Commission considers that the order dealt well and quickly with the complaints. It dealt sympathetically with the complainants and did all it could to contribute to their healing process. It is clear that the complainants consider that their complaints were well handled.
37.50 The Commission considers that the order dealt well with Fr Terentius. He was immediately removed from ministry and placed in therapeutic care. A considerable amount of money was spent in attempting to rehabilitate him. After he returned to Ireland he was well supervised and monitored. His superiors displayed considerable patience in dealing with him.
37.51 The Commission is very concerned that the assessment carried out in the Granada Institute in 2001 did not take account of the full facts. The conclusions reached may be justified but, on its face, the assessment is, at best, questionable.
Communication between Church authorities
37.52 The Commission recognises that members of religious orders are subject to the rules of their order and complaints against them are dealt with by the order even if the priest in question was attached to the Archdiocese when the alleged abuse occurred. The Commission is concerned that this may mean the Archdiocese is not fully informed about abuse which occurred under its aegis. In this case, the Archdiocese was informed of the complaint. The Archdiocese informed the order of the complaint made to it and left it to the order to deal with it. There was no further communication until Archbishop Connell contacted all relevant orders in 1997. In this case, the absence of further communications between the order and the Archdiocese is not a major issue as the order was closely monitoring all Fr Terentius‟s activities. However, in general, the Commission is concerned that the Archdiocese does not require more frequent updates on the current status of religious order priests who abused children while under its aegis.
Gardaí and health board
37.53 The order did report to the Gardaí but, as the complainants in this case did not want to make a complaint to the Gardaí, there was no Garda investigation. Similarly, there was no contact with the health authorities.
38.1 Fr John Kinsella was born in 1948. He was ordained in Dublin in 1973 for a diocese in the UK. From September 1973 to December 1973 he served as a temporary replacement for the parish priest in Enniskerry who was ill. The arrangement for this temporary replacement was made by the Dublin Archdiocese. All the complaints of child sexual against Fr Kinsella abuse which are known to the Commission arose during this period. He moved to work in his UK diocese in January 1974. He had various problems which resulted in his spending some time in Stroud and he was suspended from priestly duties for a period in 1993/1994. The Commission has no evidence that these problems were connected to child sexual abuse.
38.2 There are a number of complaints of child sexual abuse against Fr Kinsella. He has been convicted in respect of two boys and has served a term of imprisonment. His present whereabouts are unknown.
38.3 The first complaint to the Archdiocese of Dublin concerning child sexual abuse by Fr Kinsella was made in March 1995. This followed revelations by the complainant in late 1994 and early 1995 in an RTE radio programme and a Channel 4 programme.
38.4 Monsignor Alex Stenson met the complainant in March 1995. Monsignor Stenson suggested that the complainant make a formal complaint to the Gardaí and that he take advice from his own solicitor. However, the complainant recalls that the manner in which those suggestions were made was aggressive and that he left the meeting feeling considerably annoyed.
38.5 Following that meeting the complainant did make a complaint to the Gardaí.
38.6 The complainant alleged that he and his brother had both been abused by Fr Kinsella while Fr Kinsella was attached to Enniskerry parish. Fr Kinsella had met the complainant‟s brother on a Dublin diocesan pilgrimage to Lourdes shortly after he was ordained. After his return, Fr Kinsella visited the boy‟s home on the north side of Dublin and befriended his family. He offered to take the boy to Enniskerry. On the first such occasion in Enniskerry, the boy was required to sleep in the priest‟s bed and was then sexually assaulted by him. Two weeks later, he again called to the boy‟s home, collected him and brought him to Enniskerry, where he again sexually assaulted him, this time forcing him to have oral sex.
38.7 A short while later, Fr Kinsella took the two brothers to Enniskerry and on the first available opportunity, had the complainant sleep in his bed and sexually assaulted him. He also abused the complainant on another occasion in the presence of a third boy.
38.8 Monsignor Stenson commenced an immediate inquiry into the allegations made by the complainant. He attempted to obtain an address for Fr Kinsella. As a result of various efforts on Monsignor Stenson‟s part, a priest in the UK telephoned Monsignor Stenson and informed him that Fr Kinsella was staying with him and that he and the local parish priest were aware of certain “goings on” with regard to Fr Kinsella. Eventually Fr Kinsella contacted Monsignor Stenson by telephone in June 1995. Monsignor Stenson suggested that he come to Dublin and meet him and the diocesan solicitor. He also suggested that Fr Kinsella bring along his own solicitor. The specific complaints made by the complainant were not discussed during this conversation. Fr Kinsella did confirm that he had acted as a relief priest in Enniskerry and knew of the complainant.
38.9 It appears that Monsignor Stenson did not meet Fr Kinsella.
Garda investigation and conviction
38.10 The Garda investigation was in progress. A number of other complainants made similar allegations to those made by the two brothers. A comprehensive investigation was carried out.
38.11 In February 1999, Fr Kinsella was convicted on two counts of sexual assault on each of the brothers. He was sentenced to a term of eight years in prison; five of these were suspended. He was released from prison in May 2001.
38.12 The first complainant sought help from the Archdiocese to meet the cost of counselling fees. The Archdiocese offered a victim support representative to the complainant. Negotiations did not resolve the areas under discussion and legal proceedings were issued in October 1997. The proceedings were settled in February 1999. The complainant‟s brother also settled his civil claim with the Archdiocese in September 1999.
38.13 Prior to Fr Kinsella‟s release from prison in May 2001, his brother wrote to Archbishop Connell regarding his plans for Fr Kinsella on his release. The Archbishop replied that he had raised the matter with his bishop in the UK diocese. The UK bishop signalled that he intended sending a representative to see Fr Kinsella before his discharge. The note contained the views of the bishop, namely that Fr Kinsella should voluntarily seek laicisation, in default of which the diocese would request that Rome deal with the matter. The bishop did not consider that he had an obligation to assist Fr Kinsella financially. The Archdiocese of Dublin, at this stage, had no authority over, and no responsibility for, Fr Kinsella.
38.14 Fr Kinsella seems to have disappeared after his release from prison. He did not contact his own bishop. He was not required to report to the Gardaí as the Sex Offenders Act 2001 (see Appendix 2) was not yet in effect.
38.15 His UK diocese told the Commission in 2007 that they had no address for him.
The Commission’s assessment
38.16 This was a difficult case for the Archdiocese because it involved a priest over whom it had no jurisdiction at the time the complaints were made nor did it have any easy way to contact him. Monsignor Stenson did make considerable efforts to contact him and did succeed. The Gardaí carried out a thorough investigation which resulted in his conviction and imprisonment.
38.17 It is a cause of concern that his current whereabouts are unknown but this is the case for many sex offenders.
39.1 Fr Laurentius is a member of a religious order. He was born in 1935 and ordained in 1966. He spent a number of years working in Africa. He then returned to Ireland where his main activity was as chaplain to a vocational school in Dublin from 1973 to 1983. He subsequently spent a number of years working in parishes in a first world country. Since 1994, he has been living in one of his order‟s houses in Ireland and, since 1996, he has not been allowed any public ministry.
39.2 Fr Laurentius is a promiscuous man who has had numerous sexual relationships with women in all of the countries and areas in which he ministered. He claims that his sexual relationships were all with adults. There are two complaints from named underage girls in Ireland.
Complaints while working abroad
39.3 While he was working abroad in the first world country, in 1990, complaints were made about his relationships with adult women. A nun reported to the local head of the order and the local bishop that a number of women were disturbed by his behaviour and a formal complaint was made by one of these women. Fr Laurentius had been counselling her in respect of her sexual abuse as a child and her marital difficulties. A sexual relationship developed between Fr Laurentius and this woman. She complained that he was exploiting her and she was concerned that he would abuse other vulnerable women.
39.4 The local head of the order108 discussed the matter with Fr Laurentius and with the bishop. Fr Laurentius denied that there was any exploitation involved; he said the woman had initiated the sexual contact and he had succumbed out of human weakness. Later, he told the local bishop and the head of the order that the woman had withdrawn the allegation and apologised. The head of the order told the bishop that he hoped the incident was “over and done with”. There is no evidence that either checked whether or not the woman had, in fact, withdrawn the allegation. The bishop agreed that Fr Laurentius should continue in his parish duties.
39.5 In January 1994 another woman contacted the order to complain that she had been indecently assaulted by Fr Laurentius. She had reported the assault to another priest in the parish who, although he thought she was fantasising, told her to contact the head of the order. Fr Laurentius made an apology in writing to this woman and accepted that he had assaulted her. The woman concerned accepted the apology but she was surprised and concerned that he would be returning to parish work. She was aware of concerns expressed by other women about him.
39.6 Fr Laurentius was sent for treatment to Jemez Springs, New Mexico in February 1994. In the letter of reference, the head of the order outlined Fr Launentius‟s background; said that he “finds celibacy in great conflict with his natural instincts and drives”; summarised the two specific complaints that had been made and explained that the order had had other complaints about his words and behaviour.
39.7 While in Jemez Springs, Fr Laurentius revealed that he had been sexually abused as a child. He also revealed that he had a relationship with a woman in Dublin whom he still loved. He said he had been involved with more than 40 women some of whom were under the age of 18. In an initial report, the doctors and therapists considered that he had benefited from the treatment but he needed strong support structures and safeguards and recommended that he not take part in any pastoral counselling of women, especially women who were needy. He was not to engage in direct one-to-one ministry with women nor have unsupervised contact with women.
39.8 In a later psychological report, it was stated that Fr Laurentius showed a better understanding of his sexual patterns and was able to acknowledge that some women were hurt by his actions. He had also admitted that he had treated women as objects. However, he failed to appreciate how his position as a priest coloured every aspect of his behaviour. He was unable to appreciate the power difference as a result of his being a priest. He also continued to express serious errors in his thinking regarding the sexual contact he had had with several youths. The report concluded that he had made significant gains while in treatment. However, he did require much more work to maintain, integrate and further his treatment gains. He genuinely cared for most of the 40 women with whom he had been involved but he assumed that, because he was not intentionally hurting these women, his behaviour was healthy for a secular man. He was regarded as remaining at considerable risk of more sexual contact with women and girls. This risk was increased by the fact that Fr Laurentius considered himself to be “cured” and a completely new man. As a result, it was highly recommended that he not have any one-to-one ministry with women. It was acknowledged that he would progress best in a community rather than working in isolation at a parish or mission and that he should have a long-term counsellor. The psychologist also stressed that, just because his focus was on adult women, it should not be forgotten that he had also had sexual contact with minors and that this was a major past and potential problem.
39.9 The assessments and reports from Jemez Springs were sent to the head of the order in Ireland. The head of the order in the country where the complaints had been made had asked for this to be done – he was concerned that such reports might be subpoenaed in his country. Fr Laurentius returned to one of the order‟s houses in Ireland in September/October 1994. In accordance with the continuing care recommendations of Jemez Springs, he signed a supervision contract with the order. A named supervisor was appointed. This supervisor was informed of his background. The contract did not mention any restrictions on ministry or on movement. The order has told the Commission that, at this stage, he was forbidden to have any one to one ministry with women. He was allowed to say mass in public and this could have involved supply work outside the order‟s house.
First Irish complainant
39.10 In May 1995, the first Irish complainant reported to the Gardaí that she had been abused by Fr Laurentius about 20 years earlier when she was aged 16 or 17. This complainant had been abused as a child in a residential institution and the abuse by Fr Laurentius occurred while she was living in a hostel run by the order that had run the residential institution. Fr Laurentius was a frequent visitor to this hostel and the complainant also visited him in the order‟s house. In December 1995, the Gardaí visited Fr Laurentius to tell him about the allegation and they invited him to make a statement after caution. He declined. He spoke to the Gardaí “off the record” about his difficult relationship with his father, his strong sexual urges and his difficulty with celibacy. He admitted having made mistakes and was anxious to speak openly. He later made a statement to the Gardaí in the company of his solicitor and he denied the allegations.
39.11 The order‟s advisory panel was informed of the allegation. The delegate of the order expressed concern at this meeting that other girls had been visiting Fr Laurentius around the time the alleged abuse occurred. The head of the order suggested that Fr Laurentius should remain where he was and be monitored. It was considered that it would be unjust to remove him without interview because his history was with adult women. It seems that the advisory panel did not see the reports from Jemez Springs. It was decided that a preliminary investigation would not be started but instead any investigation would be left to the civil law. However, there would be an initial assessment. It was concluded that there was a “semblance of truth” in the allegation from what had been gleaned from the assessment so far. It was decided to put Fr Laurentius on administrative leave. The conditions included no pastoral ministry and no public mass. He was allowed to say mass privately and to wear clerical garb. The bishop in the area where he was living was informed.
39.12 Fr Laurentius told the head of the order that he remembered being visited by a young woman but there had been no sexual contact.
39.13 Shortly afterwards, in March 1996, this complainant informed the order‟s solicitors that she intended to take civil proceedings against Fr Laurentius and the order. Such proceedings were never actually pursued. There was no direct contact between this complainant and the order and it does not appear that any offer of counselling was made.
39.14 The Gardaí, having investigated the complaint, did not recommend prosecution because of the lapse of time and insufficient evidence. The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) decided not to prosecute as there had been a considerable delay in making the complaint. The delay involved was approximately 20 years.
Second Irish complainant
39.15 In March 1997, another complainant emerged. She complained that she had been sexually abused by Fr Laurentius when she was 17. The head of the order and subsequently the delegate met her. She had been introduced to Fr Laurentius by a friend who thought he could help her with various problems she had, including sexual abuse by a family member when she was between seven and ten years old. She said Fr Laurentius seemed very kind and interested. He told her she would have to forgive her abuser. He then told her she was frigid and he could help her overcome this. He engaged in sexual activity with her over a year to a year and a half – this included full sexual intercourse. She described to the Gardaí how he effectively had power over her and she would do whatever he wanted. The abuse stopped when she met the man who was to become her husband. This was when she was about 19. She had attended a therapist in 1994 and 1995 and had given a similar account of her experiences there – this was two years before she complained to the order or the Gardaí. She had written a letter to her then boyfriend in 1978 which indicated that she had been engaging in sexual activity with Fr Laurentius before she met him (the boyfriend).
39.16 Fr Laurentius denied to the order that any sexual transgression of any kind occurred with this complainant.
39.17 The order and the complainant reported the allegation to the Gardaí. Fr Laurentius told the Gardaí in September 1997 that he did have sexual intercourse with her but that it was consensual and occurred when she was aged about 26. He said: “It was a really close good friendship, natural and happy and the sexual relationship developed at the end”. He said they had been friendly for eight to nine years before this occurred.
39.18 The investigating Gardaí were convinced that the complainant had been sexually abused. They recognised that this would be difficult to prove. They recommended that Fr Laurentius be prosecuted under Section 3 of the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act 1885. This makes it an offence to procure a woman by false pretences or false representations to have unlawful sexual intercourse. Later, the DPP decided not to prosecute because the complainant was over 17 when the abuse occurred and the evidence suggested that she consented to the sexual activity.
39.19 The order notified the local bishop of the complaint but did not notify the Archbishop of Dublin even though the alleged abuse occurred when Fr Laurentius was working in the Archdiocese.
39.20 The second foreign complainant (who claimed she had been indecently assaulted as an adult) then started legal proceedings in relation to the sexual assault which Fr Laurentius had admitted. There were discussions between the order in Ireland and the order in the other country on how to handle the claim. The head of the order in Ireland told the head in the other country that Fr Laurentius was not in ministry and would not be. He also told him that the report from Jemez Springs was “absolutely confidential” to the head of the order in Ireland and could not be discussed.
List of women
39.21 In October 1997, Fr Laurentius provided the head of the order with a list of the women who had been in his life. He had had a sexual relationship with eight women while in Africa, 26 women while in Ireland, three women while doing supply work abroad (in another first world country) and nine women in the first world country where complaints were made (including the two whose initial complaints had brought the problem to light). He gave the ages of all these women including the ages of those whose names he did not give. According to Fr Laurentius, they were mainly in their 20s or early 30s. He named a number of 15-16 and 17-year-olds with whom he had a “friendship”. He described the number of times he had sexual intercourse with each individual. He said “full intercourse rarely took place and contraceptives were always used”. The list included the second Irish complainant, gave her age as 26 and said there was sexual intercourse once. It also included the first Irish complainant, gave her age as 17 and described the relationship as “friendship”.
39.22 Fr Laurentius was sent to the Granada Institute for assessment. It is not clear what background information was given to Granada. It was not given a copy of the Jemez Springs report but was aware that he had been in Jemez Springs. The order explained to the Commission that this may have been because the report stated that it may not be released to anyone without the written permission of the priest. Further, the delegate at the time considered that the assessment by Granada was an opportunity to get a second opinion and that sharing the Jemez Springs report might influence Granada‟s findings. A report from Granada in February 1998 stated that Fr Laurentius‟s sexual orientation was towards adult females and there was “no evidence of any erotic interest in children which precludes a diagnosis of paedophilia”. Granada concluded that Fr Laurentius had a well-developed sense of social intelligence and elevated level of disinhibition. He had high needs for excitement and stimulation and would flout convention in pursuit of this. It was recommended that he continue individual psychotherapy. He would derive little benefit from a strictly imposed structural regime. However, he would benefit significantly if he could be empowered to negotiate a mutually acceptable framework of accountability with his superiors. It would also benefit him if he could be constructively employed so as to foster further positive engagement in the religious community.
39.23 The order then proposed a new contract for Fr Laurentius. This would involve, among other things, not celebrating mass in public or engaging in any form of ministry. It would also require him to get permission to leave his house and to tell the local superior where he was going. Fr Laurentius considered that this later proposal was an infringement of his rights and dignity. It was suited for someone who had been convicted of child sexual abuse. He considered that the Granada report had effectively cleared him of any suspicion of child sexual abuse.
39.24 The advisory panel recommended the formal removal of his priestly faculties and wanted him to sign the proposed contract. He was also to be informed that he was not to be alone with any woman.
39.25 The order delegate met Granada in August 1998. Granada was firmly of the view that the priest had been conducting adult relationships. Granada considered that he had acknowledged his wrongdoing but the order delegate was more sceptical – it was more a question of “notches in his gun”. The concern of both the order and Granada at this stage seemed to be mainly the question of integration of Fr Laurentius in his community and reconciling conflicts in his life (between his vow of celibacy and his sexual activities).
Granada considered that the order was making itself into a type of guard for Fr Laurentius and this could not continue. Granada asked why the order did not tell him that he could not continue to be a member of the order.
39.26 Fr Laurentius himself thought there should be no restrictions as he was not a paedophile and he was not involved with any woman at this stage. The delegate and Fr Laurentius then met Granada. Granada said that restricting his ministry was not unreasonable given that, in all professions, engaging in sexual conduct with a client would mean the end of the professional career. All were agreed that he was not a child abuser.
39.27 The delegate met the second Irish complainant and her husband in December 1998. She mentioned the possibility of a civil case. The delegate concluded that there was probably some truth in what she was alleging.
39.28 In early 1999, the delegate met Granada to discuss the possibility of limited ministry – this would involve saying mass in public but not allowing confession or counselling, especially to women. The record of the meeting which was made by the order shows that Granada repeated that there was nothing to show that Fr Laurentius was a child or adolescent sexual abuser. They were in favour of his having limited ministry.
39.29 The advisory panel deferred consideration of the proposal that he be allowed to return to limited ministry in order to enable a full dossier to be prepared including all reports.
39.30 In May 1999, the order formally asked Granada to consider the question of Fr Laurentius‟s return to limited ministry. Granada acknowledged that their earlier report had concluded that Fr Laurentius was “not erotically attracted to children, and consequently did not pose a threat of sexually abusing children”. However, it had become apparent that he had difficulty making himself accountable to the religious order and had a history of repeatedly breaking ministerial boundaries and utilising his priestly status to gain access to female company. Consequently, Granada felt that it could not endorse his return to ministry with the public.
39.31 The second Irish complainant started civil proceedings and a settlement of these proceedings has been reached.
39.32 Fr Laurentius continued to complain about what he described as the “continuing and unjust denial of priestly ministry” and about the assessment processes. The head of the order did not accept Fr Laurentius‟s view and showed considerable patience in dealing with him. The head of the order, understandably, admitted to having difficulty in maintaining charity or even hope in dealing with this “fool”. The advisory panel was firmly of the view in 2001 that there was no question of his return to ministry because his violations were far too serious. It recommended that he be allowed concelebrate mass privately with other members of the order and hear the confessions of other members of the order. The advisory panel was of the view that there was “absolutely no question of child sexual abuse” where he was concerned. The head of the order made it very clear to him that he was unlikely to be granted priestly faculties ever again.
39.33 In 2003, the head of the order told Fr Laurentius that it had come to his attention that Fr Laurentius was counselling a woman. Fr Laurentius denied this. He was refused permission to officiate at a wedding. He was, however, allowed to travel abroad to attend a wedding in 2005.
The Commission’s assessment
39.34 It would have been entirely understandable if the order had asked Fr Laurentius to leave. The Commission considers that it is to its credit that it did not do so and that it tried very hard, after the first Irish complaint was made, to ensure that he was not a risk to girls and women.
39.35 The allegations made abroad are not within the remit of the Commission, both because they do not concern child abuse and because they are not related to the Archdiocese of Dublin. They are outlined here in order to show what the order in Ireland knew about Fr Laurentius when they were handling the complaints that are within remit. The first reported incident may well have involved consenting adults but the fact that he accepted that he had indecently assaulted the second woman who complained ought to have been a major cause for concern. Such an assault is treated by canon law in the same way as child sexual abuse (canon 1395.2).
39.36 The reports from Jemez Springs clearly show that he was considered a danger to women in general and specifically mentioned that he had been involved in child sexual abuse.
39.37 It was very clear that he was using his status as a priest and as a counsellor to meet women with whom he then had sexual relationships. This is clearly predatory exploitative behaviour and, at minimum, is unprofessional conduct. Doctors or therapists who engage in such conduct are liable to be disbarred.
39.38 The Commission has noted that Church authorities seem to be remarkably tolerant of breaches of their rules where sexual activity with adults is concerned.
39.39 The Commission finds it very difficult to understand how Granada can categorically state that Fr Laurentius was not involved in child sexual abuse when there is evidence that he admitted to such abuse while in Jemez Springs and when there are two complaints from 16/17 year olds in Ireland. The Commission acknowledges that consensual sexual involvement with a 17 year old is not a crime.
39.40 The Commission finds Fr Laurentius‟s list of his sexual conquests astonishing. The detail in respect of age and precise sexual activity is simply unbelievable. It is highly unlikely that a promiscuous man would remember such detail unless he actually kept a record. It is equally unlikely that he would know or remember the ages of all the women with whom he had been involved. In the Commission‟s view, this list is compiled with a view to establishing that he was not a child abuser. The Commission is even more astonished that Granada regarded this as his acknowledgement of his wrongdoing. The Commission considers that the common sense assessment of the order‟s delegate (“notches in his gun”) is much more realistic.
39.41 The order did not tell the Archdiocese of Dublin about the complaints at the time even though they related to Fr Laurentius‟s time in the Archdiocese. The order did inform the local bishop where Fr Laurentius was living.
39.42 The Gardaí dealt appropriately with this case.
40.1 Fr Klaudius was a member of a religious order. He was born in 1957 and ordained in 1985. He worked in the Archdiocese of Dublin in a number of different roles including hospital chaplain, prison chaplain, teacher, and in a parish. He spent a short time abroad doing supply work and had different positions in the management of the order. He was removed from ministry in 1995, was laicised and dispensed from the vows of his order in 2000 and died in 2005.
40.2 He admitted to abusing a number of children but the Commission is aware of only one formal complaint against him.
40.3 While Fr Klaudius was in the seminary, he had been assessed by a priest psychologist. This assessment concluded that he had issues relating to sexuality especially “difficulty over gender”. There is no written report of this assessment and the order took the view that there was “no indication of [Fr Klaudius‟s] problems existed during his formation”. Shortly before the complaint was received, he had attended a treatment programme at a therapeutic clinic. His presence there had no ostensible connection with any issues of sexuality or child abuse. During his time there, he revealed that he had been sexually abused when he was five or six years old.
40.4 The complaint to the order was made in July 1995. It related to events which had occurred in the Archdiocese of Dublin in 1991 but Fr Klaudius was, at this stage, working in a school outside of the Dublin Archdiocese.
40.5 In 1995, the complainant‟s father told a member of the order that his son had been abused by Fr Klaudius four years previously when he was 17 years old. The member of the order reported to his superiors who arranged to meet both the young man and Fr Klaudius and to have a formal investigation. The young man described how his father had arranged for him to have therapy with Fr Klaudius because of some family difficulties. The abuse had occurred during these therapy sessions which were held in the order‟s house where Fr Klaudius lived. The abuse involved touching and masturbation. The boy told a friend about the abuse at the time and discovered that she already had suspicions about Fr Klaudius.
40.6 The young man told a local diocesan priest about the abuse at some stage. It is not clear when this was but the local priest thinks it was around 1995. This priest told the Commission that he advised the young man to contact the order. The young man did not want to report the matter to the Gardaí.
40.7 Fr Klaudius, in a sworn statement, admitted that something “of a sexual nature” had occurred between himself and the boy. He also admitted that similar incidents had occurred with another 17-year-old boy whom he did not name.
40.8 The issue of reporting this complaint to the Gardaí and the health board was discussed within the order and by its advisory panel. The complainant did not want it reported to the civil authorities. However, Fr Klaudius was working in a school at this time and had worked in a number of schools. The order was reluctant to report, even though the legal advice it received was that the complaint should be reported to the health board.
40.9 Fr Klaudius was immediately removed from the school where he was currently working and from public ministry and sent to a therapeutic centre in the UK. In this centre, he initially admitted to having abused a number of children. He gave the names of four others (apart from the complainant) and the approximate dates of the abuse. Two of these were his students while he was a teacher in the Archdiocese of Dublin. His method was to befriend vulnerable boys through normal contact at school, or in a pastoral setting, or he would create an image of himself as a healer to manipulate his victims with his “special powers”. He would use his counselling sessions for his sexual agenda which would arouse his victims and lead them to believe that they had provoked his advances. The therapist suspected that the true extent of his offending had not yet been disclosed and that he was a serious risk to boys between the ages of 12 and 17.
40.10 Later, he admitted to abusing a number of other students at the schools where he had taught and to targeting and grooming other unnamed boys. He provided a list which included five boys and one girl. The abuse was generally touching and masturbation but also included one act of buggery.
40.11 He claimed that he had himself been abused by nine different people during his childhood and adolescence.
40.12 In March 1996, the order‟s advisory panel agreed that the matter should be reported to the health board and the Gardaí. The Framework Document was in operation and it provided for such reporting. One member, who visited Fr Klaudius in the treatment centre, strongly supported reporting. The order was still reluctant to do this.
40.13 The local bishop in the area where Fr Klaudius had most recently been living was informed, but the Archbishop of Dublin was not, even though all the known abuse had occurred in Dublin.
40.14 Fr Klaudius left the treatment centre in October 1996. The centre considered that he had made progress but that he remained a risk to children. His behaviour could not be cured but could be controlled. He accepted that he used his position as a priest to create a position of trust and to abuse young boys.
40.15 He returned to Ireland to live in one of the order‟s houses in the Archdiocese of Dublin near a school in which he had admitted abuse. Neither the Archdiocese nor the school was informed of the complaint or of his presence in the Archdiocese. The order told the Commission that, in 1998, the school was told of his record by the then chaplain, who was a member of the same religious order.
40.16 Fr Klaudius entered into a behavioural contract with the order. This provided that:
There was to be a weekly hour long debriefing meeting. There would be no confidentiality at the meeting, as all offences would be reported to the proper authority. This meeting was to be an examination of everyday life, a review of day-to-day events past and planned, including holidays and time away from the house in which he lived. There would also be an evaluation of the meeting.
There would be a support structure for him which included group therapy in the Granada Institute and regular returns to the UK treatment centre.
He would have no ministry and he was not permitted to wear clerical garb outside the house where he lived.
His only recreation was to be with other members of his order and included writing, music, art, golf and adult swimming.
It was envisaged that he would partake in higher education in computer studies.
40.17 His support group included some family members. Soon after returning to Ireland, he admitted to the order that he had abused a family member.
40.18 The Eastern Health Board (EHB) was informed of the situation in March 1997. The immediate impetus for this was the recent admission about the family member (who did not live in the EHB area) and who was still a child. The order‟s contemporaneous records show that a health board social worker told the order that she intended to contact the school where the priest had admitted to abusing children. The order expected that there would be a “dig for victims” by the social worker.
40.19 In fact, the social worker did not contact the school. She told the Commission that it was indicated to the health board that contact had been made with the schools by the order. The HSE provided documentation in this case only after it had received a draft of this report. The health board for the area in which the family member lived was also informed. The abused child‟s mother was told and so was the local bishop in the area where the priest had been living.
40.20 Sometime in late 1997 or early 1998, Fr Klaudius began to groom a boy who delivered milk to the community. He then went back to the UK therapeutic facility which he had earlier attended for a further session of residential therapy and remained there for about three months. On his return, he was referred to the Granada Institute for ongoing treatment and considered leaving the priesthood and the order. Granada expressed the view that an offender of Fr Klaudius‟s age had a better chance of living an offence-free life if he left the order, earned his own living and made his own way in life rather than remaining in the order. On the other hand, the head of the order considered he had a better chance of not offending if he remained within the order.
40.21 In April 1998, the advisory panel recommended that Fr Klaudius should not have leave of absence and should be confronted with the fact that he would be subject to strict supervision for the rest of his life.
40.22 In 1998, the complainant looked for financial support from the order. The order said it would pay for counselling and training but would not give him money. Some counselling was arranged.
40.23 In July 1998, Fr Klaudius declared his intention to leave the order and seek laicisation. He asked for the continued support of the order to enable him to continue therapy and to have a support person. He also looked for financial support for accommodation and to enable him to train to become a consultant in career guidance. He sought £6,000 for accommodation and living expenses. Not surprisingly, the order considered his proposal to become involved in career guidance to be “wholly inappropriate”.
40.24 Fr Klaudius was still attending Granada at this stage. He was attending there once a week for either individual or group therapy. The estimated cost of attending for one year was about £7,000. The order consulted Granada about whether it was safe to allow him to live outside the order‟s premises while awaiting laicisation. Granada considered that it was, but a member of the advisory panel was not so sure.
40.25 He received £6,000 from the order and moved out from the order‟s house in August 1998. He started a FÁS course.
40.26 The order provided a short character reference for Fr Klaudius when he left. The reference described him as “intelligent, bright and sensitive. He is also industrious and hardworking” and went on to “recommend him for suitable employment”. The reference was described by its author as “very non-committal, but what else can I say”.
40.27 In December 1998, a family member told the order that Fr Klaudius was angry with the order for sending him to the UK therapeutic centre. The order met some of his family members for the purposes of maintaining contact and monitoring how the family was getting on.
40.28 The Archdiocese of Dublin was informed of the application for laicisation as various actions had to be taken by it in order to proceed.
40.29 In March 1999, the order gave the priest just over £1,800 to buy a computer and related equipment. In August 1999, he sought and received further financial support, another £6,000, from the order. He was now receiving a social welfare payment.
40.30 In April 2000, a community worker became concerned about his access to young people taking part in a development programme. Granada recommended that Fr Klaudius inform the programme officials about his past. It is not known if he did or if anyone else did.
40.31 In November 2000, Fr Klaudius was granted a dispensation from clerical celibacy and was removed from the clerical state. The Archdiocese was informed of this. He wrote to the provincial of the order in June 2001 expressing his gratitude for the support both during and after his time in the order. He specifically acknowledged receipt of a cheque for £20,000 which helped him “enormously to begin a new life”. He also asked for forgiveness for the shame he had brought on the order.
40.32 The Gardaí were informed of the complainant‟s allegation and of Fr Klaudius‟s admission in relation to the family member but, as no abused person made a complaint to them, there was no investigation.
40.33 Fr Klaudius died in June 2005.
The Commission’s assessment
40.34 The Commission considers that the order was wrong to delay the initial reporting to the health board. Reporting did not occur until two years after the complaint was first made. This was despite the fact that Fr Klaudius was a teacher. In failing to report, the order acted against the clear advice of its own advisory panel and its legal advice. The order paid undue regard to the request/demand for confidentiality by the complainant and his father. While the delay in reporting was wrong, the Commission does not consider that the order attempted to obstruct, prevent or interfere with the proper investigation of the complaint.
40.35 There was totally inadequate communication between the order and the Archdiocese of Dublin about the complaint and the subsequent admissions. The order did not tell the Archdiocese about the complaint made or about Fr Klaudius‟s subsequent admissions of abuse. The Commission finds this extraordinary as the known abuse occurred mainly while he was operating under the aegis of the Archdiocese. The order did communicate with other dioceses where Fr Klaudius lived at various times but, extraordinarily, seems to have overlooked the Archdiocese of Dublin. This also meant that the Archdiocese could not inform the schools or the Department of Education.
40.36 The Commission is very concerned that the order had the clear impression that the health board would inform the relevant schools and this did not happen. The failure to inform the schools where this priest had taught and the Department of Education was a serious lapse by the health board.
104 This is a pseudonym.
105 This is a pseudonym.
106 The complaints were dealt with by the head of the order in Ireland and/or the delegate appointed to deal with child abuse. The term “head of the order” or the “order” is used throughout to describe those in authority who were dealing with the complaints.
107 This is a pseudonym.
108 The term “head of the order” is used to describe a person in authority in the order. Sometimes this is the actual head, sometimes his deputy and sometimes the delegate.
109 This is a pseudonym.