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.
Letter to Abbot Gregory Polan
May 16, 2011
Abbot Gregory Polan
37174 State Highway Vv
Conception Junction, Missouri
During a phone conversation on Monday, April 25, 2011, you and I
discussed sexual misconduct by Bede Parry, a member of Conception
Abbey between 1974 and 2002.
On Wednesday, April 27, 2011, you wrote (via email) to provide an
update on how you intended to respond to the information regarding
“We have prepared a first draft of a letter to the parents of the boys who were in the boy choir, explaining the situation regarding Bede Parry and seeking information about how we can make contact with their sons who had been in the choir (now-men) to see if there was any sexual misconduct of which we are unaware. We are having to search our
Archives to find lists of the boys who were in the choir in those years when Bede Parry was director. It is our hope to have that letter ready to go sometime early next week.”
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.
Documentation and subsequent interviews confirm that in 1979,
Conception Abbey’s Abbot Jerome Hanus was made aware of Bede Parry’s
sexual misconduct. Later that year, Bede Parry enrolled in the Saint
John’s School of Theology in Collegeville, Minnesota. When Bede Parry
admitted in 1981 to sexual misconduct with a student at Saint John’s,
Abbot Jerome Hanus was informed. Several Saint John’s monks,
including Abbot John Theisen, were also made aware of Bede Parry’s
Upon his return to Conception Abbey and despite a history of
misconduct, Bede Parry was allowed to work extensively with the Abbey
Boy Choir. Between 1982 and 1987, Bede acted inappropriately with at
least two choir members. Both were minors.
I remain concerned for Bede Parry’s victims who might need therapy (or
other assistance) as well as potential victims who might be at risk
given Bede Parry’s “propensity to reoffend” and his lack of
supervision at All-Saint’s Episcopal Church in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Conception Abbey has dodged its responsibility regarding Bede Parry
and at least two other offenders for over thirty years. Please address
the problems created when Abbot Jerome Hanus failed to act in the best
interests of victims (past and potential) or in the best and long-term
interests of Conception Abbey. The victims, survivors and your
community are counting on you to do the right thing.
Patrick J Marker