Abbot Cuthbert is on Portsmouth Diocese safeguarding commission!!!!
Talk about putting the fox in charge of the hen house!!!
Apparently he is there to advise on the peculiarities of Religious Life versus diocesan life.
In other words, "Keep Your Nose Out!!"
I received these emails from Portsmouth Diocese Safeguarding:
Thank you for your email and the account which I have now read.
Have you already contacted the Police ? If not do you wish me to pass this on to the Police ? I can do so to a Police colleague to establish if there are any criminal offences ,they will not take a formal allegation from myself it would need to come from you but I can get an opinion regarding the possibility of any criminal investigation. I must warn you that it may be that they decide that no criminal offences were committed but its best to get that decision from them.
I can do this anonymously in the first instance or just forward your email .
Please let me know which way you wish me to proceed.
I am writing to confirm that I have heard from the Police that they have spoken with you and confirmed that no criminal offences have been disclosed in relation to the Abbot of Farnborough.
I wish to confirm that I have discussed your complaint with the Director of the Catholic Safeguarding Advisory Service who agrees with me that this matter raised by yourself does not come within our Safeguarding remit.
I understand that you have already contacted Church Authorities in the UK and further afield and the Abbot Visitor for the French Benedictines. This is the correct course of action for a complaint of the nature you have made.
I wish you well in the future,
Diocesan Safeguarding Co-ordinator
(The police advise me that the law at the time did not recognise that an adult could be groomed and that the sexual contact therefore, as disclosed, was consensual.)
So that's the legal issue put to bed, so to speak, but what about the moral and ethical? You would think that Portsmouth Diocese from parishoners to clergy to the Bishop to the English hierarchy and to Rome would all be concerned?
Thanks be to God whose concern extends to a single sparrow because the Church doesn't seem to care much!
Farnborough is Subiaco - Cassinese, not French Benedictines and as such I wrote to the Abbot President thus:
Dear Abbot Guillermo Arboleda Tamayo OSB,
Regarding Dom Cuthbert Brogan OSB Abbot Of Farnborough.
My name is Tom Wood and I was clothed and simply professed at Farnborough UK, during 1988 / 89, becoming, until dispensation, Dom Thomas Wood OSB, sharing my novitiate with the current Abbot.
For many years I believed that Dom Cuthbert and I were peers who fell short of our commitment to celibacy, but whereas I wanted to leave, he wanted to stay. I therefore saw it as my duty to protect him from any scandal within my gift, which I did. I now with the benefit of my years, see things very differently and believe my self to have been sexually manipulated by this man and not just sexually abused but damaged in my adult development in a way that has scarred my life, particularly in my difficulty to form close relationships or to clearly perceive my sexuality.
All this I would have tried to offer up, were I to see Dom Cuthbert as a humble penitent Man, quietly working to edify and grow his monastic house. I could even accept that he might have become a beloved and respected superior, father in Christ.
Unfortunately I have found a vain, self promoting, narcissistic man who rather than grow his community has brought it to nigh extinction! He travels the world photographing himself fine dining and seeing the sights. His 19th century religious practices belong in a museum. And to top it all he presumably has charge of the formation of young monks and has demonstrated no conversion of life, in fact his worldly obsessions demonstrate the exact opposite! One has to consider that he may have and may be continuing to hurt others as he hurt me.
Please remove this Man from office and replace him with a devout man and give Farnborough a chance to recover and once more be an apostolate of faith, hope and charity, a beacon in the community and by it's presence, location and liturgy succour the souls of those who walk in it's grounds and live and worship within it's once again hallowed walls.
You guessed it, no response!
I have since learnt that the Abbot's Extraordinary status might actually place him under the direct jurisdiction of the Congregation Of religious? http://www.congregazionevitaconsacrata.va/content/vitaconsacrata/it/congregazione/competenze.html
and my next course of action may well be to contact them and I hope they will not replicate the disdain shown to myself and my peers as demonstrated by other primates!
The deafening silence leads one to conclude that those already in the loop are placing their money on this story quickly becoming tomorrow's chip paper!
I'm determined to make sure it does not!!