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English monk missing after jumping bail; faces child-abuse charges

October 14, 2011

A Benedictine monk who is wanted in England to face child-abuse charges has disappeared, prompting prosecutors to seek an international warrant for his arrest.

Father Laurence Soper, the former abbot of Ealing Abbey, was arrested last September, but released on bail. He was due in court in March, but failed to appear.

Abbot Martin Shipperlee, who now heads Ealing Abbey, said that Father Soper was living at another abbey in Rome until March, when he left—ostensibly to travel to England for his court appearance. The abbot reports that “we we have heard nothing from him since and all efforts to contact him have been without success.”


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