Dear Bishop Pat.
Please could you also post my story.
I am 43 years old, I’ve been a teacher and rugby coach/ player for 20+ years.
I was also a Clifton seminarian.
I was thrown out of Wonersh at the Crisim mass 2018. The Bishop told me that the Rector didn’t want me because I was disruptive.
I received no support after my expulsion.
Here is what happened. A younger seminarian asked me what he should do if he felt bullied and potentially groomed. I advised him to report this to his tutor. I also told staff. His tutor rightly recorded events, but no intervention by staff was implemented.
We pushed the complaint to get a resolution and attended a meeting with the rector. I only went to support the younger chap who was suffering anxiety from the bullying behaviour which I and others had witnessed.
I informed my spiritual director and personal tutor whom I had excellent relationships with. I never saw them again ! FR Tyrnon disappeared, we were told he broke his back. 18 months ago, still no sign or word from him!!!
The rector eventually and seemingly carried out an investigation into the reported claim of sexual harrasment and bullying type behaviour.
This investigation didn’t include all staff and other student witnesses. It seemed biased and cheery picked staff were involved. My opinion is that it was a farce investigation and simply paid lip service to safeguarding.
Evidence of text messages, recordings and witness accounts were not even considered.
The younger seminarian was advised by his family/ Deacon in the parish to leave for his own safety.
The 3 men that had been investigated had somehow managed to get in the clear. I told a friend that I didn’t believe that, because I had spoken with them and listened to their boasting and derogatory comments about others. They boasted that they were close to the rector and advised the rector on the suitability of fellow seminarians for the priesthood. This boasting was also written in email, they bragged that they told him, certain men should not even be in the seminary. They claimed the rector praised their discernment. My friend naviely told the rector he had gotten the investigation wrong and should hear what I had to say.
That now made me a target.
I was exspelled for bring disruptive. I admit I questioned this investigation with my friend. Possibly wrong of me to do so, or was it!?
The night before the Chrism Mass the rector had a meeting with Me. I asked why he didn’t look at all evidence or speak to all witnesses. As usual he used aggression and brow beating. I apologised for speaking to my friend and questioning his discerning investigation. Ultimately I was hoping to get out of the hot seat and continue my journey to priesthood. After calming down he told me that if I wanted to continue I could and we could put this behind us. I agreed.
The next day at the Chrism Mass the Bishop exspelled me saying the Rector didn’t want me !
I returned to pack my belongings and decided to say goodbye to all and leave on good terms. All the seminarians helped pack my car with as much joy as possible and gave me a round of applause. I was popular with the men and most were my friends. I went to see the rector to say goodbye out of good manners.
He screamed and shouted at me saying all hell had broken loose and that “this situation must stop now and that it’s not true.”
I left quite shook up.
At a later date I asked if I could complete my exams. The priest incharge of the academics, a good man, a man respected by the students agreed and tried to accommodate me else where as the rector was refusing my entry to the building. Was I a criminal ? Why was I not allowed into the building !
By now I was becoming quite unwell. I had been thrown out with no support, emotionally, financially or spiritually. I was in effective homeless and broken. I asked to collect my remaining belongings, but was told a date and time I couldn’t make and that I needed to be in the back car park as under no circumstances was I allowed in the building !
I could say much much more.. there is evidence to support the bullying/grooming that went on but I assume you get the picture.
What happened shocked me, and I’ve taken a while to recover.
With support from some excellent priests, some family and friends and my counsellor I’ve bounced back.
My life goes on, my faith deepened and the reality has sunk in.
I am trying to be a Christian. I therefore want those at wonersh, the Bishop, vicar general and vocation director to know that I forgive them. Truly I do, it’s taken a while and alot of prayer but I do. Christ told us, to forgive and at the time of writing this, the gospel of the day is our lord’s prayer.
However, I could just get on with my life, but I also believe a Christian has the duty of speaking the truth.
Therefore to the hierarchy of wonersh. I may forgive you, but I will speak this truth when and where I am asked. Starting here.
PS: I also wrote to papal nuncio to register this abuse which received no reply .
I’m very sorry for what you have suffered at the hands of seminaries, priests, bishops and paypal nuncio 😥
There is no excuse for what you suffered.
But there is an explanation. You were dealing with men who had no faith, prayer, conscience.
The Anti Christ is not an individual.
The Anti Christ is the Roman Catholic Institution.
I know how hurt you are. But you really are better away from them. They would have ruined your soul.
If you still feel you have a vocation feel free to discuss it with me.
AT THE REQUEST OF THE SEMINARIAN IN QUESTION, AND AGAINST MY BETTER JUDGEMENT, I HAVE REMOVED THE PREVIOUS BLOG ABOUR WONERSH.
THE SEMINARIAN IS BEING SUBJECTED TO HARRASSMENT AND HATE MAIL.
IF YOU SPEAK THE TRUTH MANY MEMBERS OF THE RCC WILL ATTACK YOU.