Archive for Gregory Polan

Forgiveness is harder in practice than in theory

Authentic forgiveness is a hard business, as any crime and justice reporter trying to fashion an article on the topic will confirm.

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Abbey Covered Up Abuse After Shooting

After a shooter killed two monks at Conception Abbey in June of 2002, the leadership at the abbey had to decide whether to disclose that they had knowledge of sexual misconduct by at least one member of its monastic community.  Instead of doing the right thing, Abbot Gregory Polan and Mr. Daniel Madden misled the authorities.

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Parry, Polan and the Abbey Boy Choir

In this undated photo, Conception Abbey monks Bede Parry and Gregory Polan pose with members of the Abbey Boy Choir.

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July 19, 2011 Letter to Abbot Polan

Gregory Polan

During a May 18, 2011, telephone conversation, we discussed … Your failure to disclose misconduct by Bede Parry and other monks following the 2002 shooting at Conception Abbey.




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KC man’s lawsuit accuses local priest and monk of abusing him when he was a boy

Fr. Isaac True

A Kansas City area man on Thursday filed a lawsuit accusing a local priest and a monk of sexually abusing him on multiple occasions when he was a boy.

The lawsuit, filed in Jackson County Circuit Court by Jon David Couzens Jr., alleges that Monsignor Thomas J. O’Brien, a retired priest in the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, and the Rev. Isaac True of Conception Abbey in northwest Missouri molested him beginning when he was 9 years old. The lawsuit also names the diocese and Conception Abbey as defendants.

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Churches full of sinners, of course

Two sexual molestation lawsuits against yet another Catholic institution surfaced late this summer. Bede Parry was a priest and director for a boys’ choir at Conception Abbey in Conception, Mo., about 17 miles southeast of Maryville. While supervising a boys’ choir camp in 1987, he allegedly engaged in sexual relations with a minor.


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Tip of the Iceberg

We have received tips and allegations of misconduct against several members of the Conception Abbey community including:

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Second lawsuit filed against Conception Abbey alleging cover-up over former monk

(Kansas City Star) A second lawsuit has been filed against a northwest Missouri abbey alleging cover-up of sexual abuse by a former monk who directed its boys’ choir in the 1980s.

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Lawsuit #2 Filed Against Conception Abbey

A second lawsuit was filed in Missouri today. The lawsuit, which names Conception Abbey as a defendant, alleges that Bede Parry sexually abused a fifteen year old member of the Conception Abbey Boys Choir over a eighteen month period beginning in 1982.

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Suit alleges abuse by priest

(Maryville Daily Forum) A Missouri man filed a lawsuit against Conception Abbey last week, alleging that officials there covered up sexual abuse by a monk in the 1980s.

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Former leader of boys choir at Missouri abbey admits sexual misconduct

(The Kansas City Star) A former Benedictine monk who directed a boys choir at a northwest Missouri abbey in the 1980s admitted on Thursday that he had inappropriate sexual relations with several members of the group.

Bede Parry, who led the Abbey Boy Choir of Conception Abbey from 1982 to 1987, told The Kansas City Star that he had sexual contact with five or six of the choir members as well as a student at a Minnesota university.

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May 16, 2011 Letter to Abbot Polan

During a phone conversation on May 12, 2011, you advised me that, on advice of the abbey’s legal counsel, you made a decision to not send such a letter. This decision is selfish, shortsighted and far from compassionate. I respectfully request that you reconsider.

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Anniversary of Abbey Shooting

CONCEPTION, Mo. (AP) — The doors at Conception Abbey in northwest Missouri are still unlocked and open, and forgiveness continues to be the theme as the members of the rural monastery remember a day of horror five years ago. Yesterday was the anniversary of a shooting spree that left two monks dead. The gunman also killed himself.

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From death, new life

The abbot learned that it’s best to make certain that no disagreement goes unresolved. A lack of forgiveness or inability to be forgiven can be among the most crippling of experiences.

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Monastery Recalls Shooting One Year Later

CONCEPTION, Mo – Every day, the Rev. Kenneth Reichert is reminded of the deadly rampage a year ago that shattered the serenity of his northwest Missouri abbey. He recalls the bloodshed whenever he uses his hands _ the tip of one finger is missing. His mind goes back to that day whenever he puts on the brace that stabilizes his right leg. “I can’t even take a shower without being reminded because of the scars on my body,” he said. “I can’t even walk down the hall without remembering.”

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