We have yet another story about Catholic abuse and an associated cover-up. The tragedy here is that this is now so common, it is almost non-news. A BBC documentary, “Abused: Breaking the Silence”, will air tonight (BBC1 at 10:35 21st June) and reveal all the sordid details. It concerns the antics of Fr Kit Cunningham, the jovial parish priest of St Ethedreda’s church and for many years unofficial padre to Fleet Street. When he was a young missionary in Africa he committed the most disgusting paedophile crimes – he sexually assaulted prep school boys at the order’s school in Soli, Tanzania
Is there any doubt about any of this? Nope, shortly before he died last December, he confessed to it all and expressed how sorry he was in a letter he wrote to one of his victims. He also returned his MBE to Buckingham Palace. Ah so that makes it all OK then? … er I think not.
This tale is not just about the guilt of one pervert, but rather is also a story about a cover-up. His order, whatever that means, the Rosminian’s did their best to cover it all up. the article in Todays telegragh reports …
You will learn from tonight’s programme that, as Peter Stanford wrote in Sunday’s Observer, “on the day that Pope Benedict XVI, during his visit to Britain last September, was in Westminster Cathedral expressing his ‘deep sorrow to innocent victims of these unspeakable crimes’, the Rosminian order was writing to refuse to pay any compensation for what it has openly acknowledged are the crimes of four of its own priests”.
You can read that article here.
I do truly hope that the Rosminian order goes bankrupt paying out for all the abuse that they have enabled to take place. The truly hideous crime here is not just the fact that some truly obnoxious abuse took place, but that the institution covered it all up and protected the abusers, dealing with them by simply moving them elsewhere and so enabling the abusers to carry on over and over again.
It is at moments like this that one can only truly wish that the Catholic belief in hell was real, but sadly its not.