UK inquiry: Monks hid sex abuse to protect church reputation

August 09, 2018 - 7:05 am

LONDON (AP) — A British inquiry has concluded that sexual abuse at two leading Roman Catholic schools in Britain was considerably higher than is reflected by conviction figures, with monks hiding allegations to protect the church's reputation.

The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse issued a scathing report Thursday, saying that monks at Ampleforth in North Yorkshire and Downside in Somerset hid allegations of "appalling sexual abuse" against pupils as young as seven.

The inquiry says the schools, which are linked to the English Benedictine Congregation monasteries, were run at times by "secretive, evasive and suspicious" officials who avoided reporting misconduct.

Ten people linked to the schools have been cautioned over or convicted of sexual activity or pornography offenses, but inquiry chief Alexis Jay says "the true scale of the abuse, however, is likely to be considerably higher."

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