STATEMENT FROM EALING ABBEY December, 2017
Andrew Soper has finally been brought to justice.
Our thoughts and prayers are with his victims. We admire them for their courage in coming forward as witnesses in order to secure his conviction.
We apologise to everyone who is affected by the crimes Soper committed while he was a monk of Ealing and a teacher at St Benedict’s School in the 1970s and 1980s. The prosecution of non-recent sexual offences is an important element in ensuring that, so far as possible, such events do not occur in future.
Soper, whose religious name was Laurence, was Head of St Benedict’s Middle School between 1975 and 1984 and the Abbot of Ealing from 1991 to 2000. After stepping down as Abbot he became Bursar at S’Anselmo, the Benedictine University in Rome. When allegations were made against him these were subject to investigation by Police and Social Services with the co-operation and assistance of the Abbey and St Benedict’s School. Soper was immediately placed under restrictions at S’Anselmo, which included no unsupervised contact with children or young people and restrictions on his movements away from the campus.
Having agreed to co-operate with the Police by returning to London for further questioning, in March 2011 he failed to return for a police interview and left the monastery in Rome. To our knowledge nothing further was heard from or about him until he was arrested in Kosovo in May 2016.
Soper was dismissed from the monastery in 2011.
We apologise again to all those who have been affected by the crimes of Soper during his time as a monk of Ealing and teacher at St. Benedict’s School.
SURVIVE is an independent support service for survivors of sexual abuse. A dedicated section has been set up exclusively for all those who suffered abuse at Ealing Abbey or St Benedict’s School. Contact 0808 1451890 – free phone number from all UK phones.
Contact for media inquiries:
Alex Carlile 07983 410149
Barry Hudd 07770 538693
ISSUED ON BEHALF OF THE ABBOT OF EALING BY
Barry Hudd KSG Mob: 07770 538693 firstname.lastname@example.org
The Parish of St Benedict, Ealing Abbey, is committed to the Safeguarding policies of the Catholic Church in England and Wales, to take all reasonable steps to protect children, young people and vulnerable adults from any form of abuse or maltreatment and to promote a safe environment for them. This commitment flows from the fact that we are all made in the image of God and the Church’s common belief in the dignity and uniqueness of every human life. We start from the principle that each person has a right to expect the highest level of care and protection, love, encouragement and respect that we can give. We will liaise closely and openly with statutory agencies to ensure that any concerns or allegations of abuse that are raised are promptly reported and properly responded to, victims supported and perpetrators held to account.
Information on Safeguarding
Lucy Faithfull Foundation
For parents and carers.
Stop It Now
For confidential advice for those who have concerns about others
and for those who have concerns about their own thoughts and feelings.
|updated 27 July 2012
To access and view the national Safeguarding policies and procedures of the Catholic Church of England & Wales please go to www.csasprocedures.uk.net