Ampleforth Monks in Training before Abuse Inquiry Public Hearings
By Bernadette Kehoe
November 8, 2017
Ampleforth has been rocked by a series of allegations linking priests to the abuse of boys
One of Britain’s leading Catholic schools, Ampleforth College, has revealed that some Benedictine monks there have received specialist training on how best to help victims and survivors of sexual abuse. In a statement ahead of its participation in the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) later this month, Ampleforth said the aim was “to be much more focussed on survivors of abuse.”
So far, four monks have undergone two days of intensive training with an external agency which was recruited for the task, with the aim of rolling it out further in the coming months. A spokeswoman told The Tablet: “We wanted to make sure the monks were able to listen and respond to abuse survivors in the most appropriate way possible and to better understand the journey of abuse survivors. “
One monk added : “The training was very helpful. It gave me a deeper insight into the likely feelings of those who have been abused and I feel it prepared me to be more sympathetic and helpful to survivors who contact us.” The spokeswoman conceded the Inquiry could be a trigger for people to come forward and a confidential independent telephone helpline has also been set up for victims.
Ampleforth has been rocked by a series of allegations linking priests to the abuse of boys. Since 1996 three monks and a lay teacher have been convicted of sex offences against more than 30 pupils dating back to the mid-1960s and up to the mid-1990s. Ampleforth’s statement expressed ‘sincere and heartfelt apologies to anyone who suffered abuse in our schools, monastery, parishes or other ministries.’