Caldey Island Monk Abuse Scandal Grows As More Alleged Victims Come Forward
November 23, 2017
Police are investigating further reports of sexual abuse by a monk and another man on Caldey Island more than 30 years ago.
There have been several reports about offences committed by Father Thaddeus Kotik on the island off the Pembrokeshire coast between 1977 and 1987.
Court documents seen by The Guardian say Kotik committed offences against the six girls between 1972 and1987.
The women have now launched civil proceedings against the Cistercian order, claiming personal injuries.
Dyfed Powys Police say they have now received two further reports of non-recent sexual abuse.
They relate to offences committed during the same time period with the same named perpetrator Thaddeus Kotik.
A spokeswoman for police said: "These crimes have been recorded and officers are in contact with the victims during the investigation and to offer specialist support."
|The monastery at Caldey Island (Image: Western Mail)|
Police have also received one further report of a sexual assault by another man at Caldey Island around the same time frame. The report has been made by one of the original six victims.
This is being investigated separately to the Caldey Island abuse and concerns a man who was visiting Caldey Island at the time and no longer lives there. No further information can be released at present as police say it would jeopardise the investigation.
Dyfed-Powys Police say they are continuing to work with the Abbey at Caldey Island to ensure appropriate safeguarding measures are in place to prevent children from suffering abuse or coming to any harm.
Detective Superintendent Anthony Griffiths said: “We have specially trained officers at Dyfed-Powys Police to investigate and support victims of non-recent abuse.
"If there are more victims out there who wish to report, please do so by calling the police directly.
"We cannot formally record complaints or offer support to victims based on reports via the media. They can do so by calling 101.
"I would say the same to anyone who has suffered abuse in the past, or is suffering today, that if they find the courage to report it, we will take it seriously and we will offer the support they require."
|Caldey Abbey on Caldey Island (Image: © Crown copyright (2008) Visit Wales)|
Kotik was a former soldier who fought in the Free Polish army during World War II, before moving to the island in 1947 and joining the strict Cistercian order.
He was ordained a priest in 1956 and lived on the island until his death in 1992. It appears he was never questioned by police and that they were not informed until 2014.
The head of Caldey Abbey has issued an apology acknowledging that allegations of serious child sexual abuse made against a Cistercian monk should have been passed on to police.
Daniel van Santvoort, the abbot at the abbey on Caldey Island, said he was “truly sorry” that allegations made against Father Thaddeus Kotik had not been reported to the authorities, and expressed regret for any harm caused.
The Children's Commissioner for Wales, Sally Holland, has written to the monastery for an assurance that children who visit the island and its chocolate factory are safe.
The commissioner has also urged other victims to contact police and said she would meet faith leaders to discuss child protection and children's rights.
Professor Holland said: "In light of the allegations over the weekend, we encourage anyone who has information or worries about the situation on Caldey Island to contact Dyfed Powys Police on 101.
“I will continue to meet with child protection leaders of all faiths, including the Catholic Church in Wales, to discuss child protection and children’s rights."
She said they were not yet in the position to call for an inquiry as there was not enough information.
She added: "As the situation develops, I’ll be maintaining a close dialogue with the relevant authorities to make sure that they respond to the situation appropriately."