August 26, 2020
The Vatican has ruled that the abbot of Ampleforth Abbey in North Yorkshire, England, should not return to his community, four years after he stepped aside during an investigation into allegations against him.
Fr. Gabriel Everitt, the abbey’s prior administrator, announced the Holy See’s decision concerning Fr. Cuthbert Madden in a letter to the Ampleforth Society, a 16,000-strong group with ties to the Benedictine monastery.
“The Holy See has studied the case carefully, including the external scrutiny of Ampleforth and the fact that Fr. Cuthbert’s mandate as Abbot expires in January 2021,” Everitt wrote.
“It does not support his return to Ampleforth as Abbot or as a resident member of the community but wishes him to be free to live in a Benedictine community of his choice with the consent of the host Abbot.”
The ruling was reported by the British Catholic weekly The Tablet Aug. 25.
Madden was first elected abbot in 2005, then re-elected in 2013 for a second eight-year term. He stepped aside in August 2016 after allegations of indecent assault were lodged against him, while strenuously denying the claims.
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