Friday, May 13, 2016

UK: Fugitive Catholic priest urged to turn himself in

A fugitive priest wanted in connection with child sex abuse allegations has been urged to turn himself in by one of the country's top lawyers, who said his absence caused difficulties to a damning review of decades of paedophile activity at a top Catholic school.

Laurence Soper, the former abbot of Ealing abbey – which has been the subject of an inquiry from Lord Carlile QC and an internal Vatican investigation following disclosures of alleged and proven abuse at neighbouring St Benedict's – skipped bail last month and is thought to be living in an Italian monastery.

Carlile, who published his findings on Wednesday, said: "I would encourage Laurence Soper to surrender himself to the police. He may feel he owes a personal and ethical duty to answer whatever questions are put to him. I regret the difficulties Laurence Soper has caused to the [inquiry] process.

"What I hope is that everybody who has, and has had, contact with Laurence Soper should inveigh upon him very strongly to surrender himself to the British authorities."

He added that an international arrest warrant was being issued.

Soper appeared in Carlile's report as one of five clergy tried or wanted for questioning in relation to paedophile activity involving pupils.  (more...)

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