Rhode Island Catholic Boarding School Says "Credible" Evidence Has Emerged of Sex Abuse Committed Decades Ago by Two Monks
August 24, 2017
'Credible' evidence of sex abuse at a Roman Catholic boarding school in Rhode Island have come to light, leaders have revealed.
A report has been released by the Portsmouth Abbey School apologizing to victims of Father Bede Gorman and Father Geoffrey Chase.
The alleged abuse happened between 1959 and the early 1980s, it reveals.
|Portsmouth Abbey School has apologized to victims of Father Bede Gorman and Father Geoffrey Chase.|
Gorman died in 1885, while Chase, who left the school in 2002, is in his 80s and ill, the report reveals.
A letter from leaders at the school states: 'We stand by those who were wronged, and are committed to helping past victims, providing therapy for them as needed.'
And it continued: 'Our hearts break for these victims and their families. Their trust and faith in the sacred mission of Portsmouth was violated.
'On behalf of the Portsmouth Abbey School and Monastery, we apologize. And we honor and thank the survivors of sexual abuse who came forward.
'By sharing your stories, you have helped ensure that the past will not be repeated; the Portsmouth community is deeply in your debt.'
Our hearts break for these victims and their families. Their trust and faith in the sacred mission of Portsmouth was violated
Portsmouth Abbey School
The school hired a law firm to investigate after the sudden resignation of its chancellor, Abbot Caedmon Holme, last year.
Last August, the firm reported no findings that he did anything illegal, but responses to that report surfaced new allegations against the two monks, who had been previously accused of abuse.
Allegations of corporal punishment in the 1960s and 1970s have also come to light.
The letter said: 'While not uncommon at the time, this form of discipline is entirely unacceptable today and would not be tolerated.
'We recognize that some alumni still carry emotional scars from these punishments.
'To them and to others who came forward and shared difficult experiences, we also offer the School and Monastery's sincere apology.'
It said monks at the school were 'deeply burdened' by the revelations, and said Gorman and Chase's names had been removed from 'any school honorarium'.