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British Jesuits: a chapter of contemporary history

By Diogenes (articles ) | Jan 17, 2004

From the Catholic Herald (UK) comes an interesting serve and volley. Last November 7 saw an article claiming jobbery by the British Jesuits in the early 1980s. In briefest terms: An orthodox Jesuit named Michael Kyne was proposed for the job of Provincial in the summer of 1981. Leftist ideologues in the Jesuits' Roman headquarters torpedoed Kyne in favor of Jock Earle. When informed that Earle, while headmaster of Stonyhurst school, had been accused of deviant sexual assault on a student, the curialists responded that it was too late for anything to be done. Earle's provincialship proceeded as planned (both Kyne and Earle are now dead).

The three succeeding issues of the Herald carried indignant letters by high-profile British Jesuits charging the author with bias and insisting that Earle was an honorable, even holy, man. Among these Jesuits were the current Provincial and one Michael Bossy. No Jesuit, it should be said, disputed the factual basis of the account, nor asked who it was that supplied the author with transparently "inside" knowledge.

Finally, on December 5, the following letter appeared in the Herald:

Sir, in reference to a letter published on November 21, I think it does the Church no favours to whiten the sepulchre as Fr. Bossy tries to do with the reputation of Fr Jock Earle. Fr Earle's trial was stopped because of a technicality. The proceedings were stayed.

I am doubly surprised at Fr Bossy's letter because he was at Stonyhurst at the time and knew first-hand of the allegations. The acting Provincial, Fr Dunphy, travelled to Stonyhurst to interview the boy. Fr Dunphy informed the boy's parents that he believed the boy was telling the truth.

The parents of the boy were anxious to protect him from an ordeal in court. They reached an agreement with Fr Earle's solicitors that they promised that Fr Earle should leave Stonyhurst and would never be put in charge of children again in return for their silence.

The parents kept their side of the bargain. The Society of Jesus did not. I write from the heart because I was that child.

Yours faithfully,
Bruno Brady
Houston, Texas

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  • Posted by: - Jan. 20, 2004 9:47 AM ET USA

    Wow. I think the only thing that could allow for such incompetence in this horrendously misguided election, would be an pre-existing agenda on the part of those who were moving Fr. Earle along. They knew he could be manipulated. An orthodox man could not. I cannot fathom the harm this has caused to others including Mr. Brady. I hope and pray that he didn't leave the Church over this. Only the spirit of Judas could move men in such a way. May the Lord be Merciful.

  • Posted by: - Jan. 19, 2004 10:41 AM ET USA

    The only way he could fit the description of "honorable" or "holy" is if the fundamental option criteria is used.

  • Posted by: - Jan. 17, 2004 11:24 AM ET USA

    Game. Set. Match.

  • Posted by: - Jan. 17, 2004 10:50 AM ET USA

    I've cried perhaps five or six times after I became a man, and if I allowed myself to think about Mr. Brady's suffering for too long, I'd add a seventh to that number. I beseech God on my knees for Mr. Brady's peace.