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.
Archive for Coverup
(Left to Right… St. John’s Abbey Monks Fr. Rene McGraw, Fr. Roman Paur, Abbot Theisen, Abbot Klassen)
Br. Bede Parry from Conception Abbey in Missouri attended the St. John’s University School of Theology between 1979 and 1982. During his second year, Br. Parry pursued a college freshman, twenty years his junior, who was interested in music and the priesthood. The first sexual misconduct included oral sex in a St. John’s University music room in the spring of 1981. The misconduct continued into the fall of 1981 when another student, also being pursued by Br. Parry, reported the misconduct to Fr. Rene McGraw.
(WCF Courier) WATERLOO, Iowa — The Hudson-based spokesman for a local clergy sex abuse survivors group has taken Dubuque Archbishop Jerome Hanus to task for his handling 24 years ago of a former Catholic monk, as recounted in a new Missouri lawsuit. Hanus is not named as a defendant in that lawsuit.
“A lawsuit has been filed that makes several claims about me while I served as Abbot of Conception Abbey. I await the opportunity to respond to these claims according to the system of justice in our country.” – Jerome Hanus
(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.
(St. Joseph News-Press) A Missouri man filed a lawsuit Thursday against Conception Abbey, alleging a priest continued to sexually abuse children while the monastery covered up his crimes.
(KC Star) A Missouri man filed a lawsuit today against Conception Abbey in northwest Missouri, alleging a coverup of sexual abuse by a former monk who directed its boys’ choir in the late-1980s. The lawsuit, filed in Nodaway County Circuit Court, claims that Bede Parry, then a Benedictine monk, molested the plaintiff in 1987 during a summer camp at the abbey. At the time, Parry led the Abbey Boy Choir of Conception Abbey.
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.
Conception’s ninth abbot tries to make sense of the shootings. In an effort to understand and help authorities, the abbey staff went through press files, employment records, seminary rosters and guest registries looking for any tie between Mr. Jeffress and Conception.
My understanding is that the shooting incident at Conception Abby had to do with a matter that was completely unrelated to the “sex scandal.”
At the time of this writing, we don’t know the answer to the question “Why?” for what happened at Conception Abbey. One cannot help but wonder if Mr. Jeffress was once an abused altar boy, exacting his revenge on the innocent clergy.
Abbey officials said they had found nothing in their guest, seminary and employment records to link Jeffress to Conception Abbey. Investigators said they had no evidence connecting the shootings to the sex abuse scandal in which Catholic priests have been accused of molesting children.
This afternoon, the gunman’s daughter told Missouri detectives that in Mr. Jeffress’s youth he was a devout Catholic but that in recent years, he had occasionally attended a Methodist church. Why and when Mr. Jeffress left the Catholic Church remained a mystery, Sergeant Lyon said. That left equally unclear whether there was any tie between the killings and the American Catholic Church’s sexual abuse crisis.
Officials at the abbey and the seminary college connected to it said they have not found a link between Jeffress and the sex scandal that has rocked the Catholic Church, but they left open the possibility of one … The abbey and seminary have been only indirectly connected to the scandal.