Pedophile priest needed ‘protection from unfounded claims’

David Brown, Sean O’Neill & Richard Owen; 13/4/10

Pedophile priest in Britain was told by the Roman Catholic Church to avoid contact with children to protect himself from “unfounded allegations” after reports that he was abusing schoolboys. Father David Pearce was allowed to continue living in the monastery at Ealing Abbey, West London, which ran the neighbouring St Benedict’s School, months before he started to abuse his final victim. Yesterday the Vatican made clear that bishops must “always” report such crimes to the police. A letter obtained by The Times shows that the Diocese of Westminster’s child protection commission was aware of allegations dating back to the late 1980s against Pearce, a former headmaster at the independent school. The police had investigated at least two cases but no charges were brought.

See: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/world/pedophile-priest-needed-protection-from-unfounded-claims/story-e6frg6so-1225853082931; http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/breaking-news/offensive-slogan-spray-painted-on-popes-birthplace/story-fn3dxity-1225853395248; Report abuses, says Vatican; Henry Chu & Mitchel Landsberg; 14/4/10; http://www.theage.com.au/world/report-abuses-says-vatican-20100413-s7ir.html; Belgian priest tells of 300 sexual abuse cases; 14/3/10; http://www.smh.com.au/world/belgian-priest-tells-of-300-sexual-abuse-cases-20100413-s7qc.html