Shay Cullen is an Irish missionary priest of the Columban order. He loves to tell the world that he has been nominated three times for the Nobel Peace Prize. He has never won the Nobel prize but he mentions it in every column he writes. It is boldly painted on the wall surrounding the PREDA building in Olongapo. He has been awarded with some rather important humanitarian awards and the large cash amounts that usually go with them.
I sincerely doubt that the Nobel Peace Prize will ever be awarded to Cullen because the father of a little girl who Cullen raped has sent them all the records of the case. I believe the other reason is that when the Board of the Nomination Committee read the information in this website that they will definitely never award Shay Cullen such an esteemed award.
Nomination and Selection of Peace Prize Laureates
“A nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize may be submitted by any person who meets the nomination criteria. A letter of invitation to submit is not required. The names of the nominees and other information about the nominations cannot be revealed until 50 years later.”
Cullen reminds me of an old tramp sleeping in the park – he wraps himself in newspapers to keep himself warm. The newspaper columns he writes only praise him and his work. Cullen writes ‘columns’ at least weekly professing what a wonderful priest his is. Cullen and his staff troll the internet putting out his stories and in this way he has made himself impervious to critics. Many newspapers have stopped publishing his writings but he managed to get the story he wrote about me published in both foreign and religious websites. Unfortunately, at least for him, he picked on the wrong woman.
This was published in the Independent Catholic News, please note the timing, July 9th..I was arrested on July 3rd. I also find it strange that he was applying for USAID which he was awarded on July 15th. Cullen received 17,000.000 pesos. Writing stories makes Cullen a tremendous amount of money.
The dilapidated house and few small cottages falling apart made up what was called S.C.O.T.S. Foundation for abandoned children. It was set up by Lilian May Thomson, 65, from Dunfermline, Scotland. According to her US passport she is named as Lilian May Zimmer. Her house is in a remote place at the end of a small, narrow valley in Subic, Philippines. It is a place surrounded by forested hills and a small river running nearby. But that outward beauty shielded something very sinister and horrific within.
This beautiful setting was ideal for another Preda children’s home and with the sex tourism growing, more children were being abused, trafficked and sexually exploited. While we challenge government, church and society to act more forcefully to end it, the victims have to be helped to heal and recover from the abuse on the streets, in brothels and rescued from child abusers. That’s our mission.
While the new Preda Home for Girls was being built about 300 meters from the SCOTS compound on the other side of the small river, I noticed posh-looking vehicles parked there. I saw non-Filipino elderly men holding and touching children. That bothered me because it is strictly forbidden in any children’s home.
I contacted the government welfare department and learned that the Scots Foundation had been disavowed by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD). So this place looked like a failed project or a fake one.
The new children’s home was built and the Preda children moved in earlier this year. The Preda children are always singing and laughing and playing games and running about. On June 1st, as I arrived to visit and celebrate the mass, I saw three little children at the entrance, one girl was completely naked, the others were skinny and semi-naked. They had been attracted to the Preda home by the singing because they were hungry. After they had eaten and clothed, they said they were from Scots Foundation.
I was alarmed and instructed a Preda social worker to bring them back there and see the conditions and why they are disheveled and malnourished. Had we kept them at the Preda home without official approval, we could have been charged with kidnapping as happened to us once before when we rescued children. The Preda Foundation being a private charity does not have the authority to rescue children without the government authorities being present.
The social worker reported that it was a house in disarray, the place was dirty, and smelt bad. Zimmer was smoking, unwashed and she appeared drunk. A seven year-old was caring for a naked six month old baby of mixed race, Korean-Filipino. Another girl, about six, was tied in a chair with plastic binders. She was having epilepsy seizures.
The Preda social worker informed me of this situation and immediately I wrote a report and informed the DSWD director by email and courier. I requested the children be rescued immediately as they were in dire and dangerous circumstances.
After a delay of two weeks, no rescue team arrived and I sent another social worker to see the condition of the children. It was worse. The children were dirty, crying, undressed, hungry, one was still tied to the chair. Zimmer was smoking non-stop and appeared drunk.
I called again for the officials to rescue them and then two government social workers and seven police from Subic town went to Zimmer’s house to rescue the children. They were prevented from entering the house and allegedly Zimmer hurled invective at them and threatened to kill them if they entered. Fearing that she might have a gun, they withdrew without rescuing the children.
After this Zimmer went to the Preda home at night shouting and cursing at Preda social workers and blaming Preda for calling the police. She allegedly grabbed one of the Preda social workers and pulled her the length of the building and uttered threats and bad word against the children.
I continued making more requests and phone calls to the authorities. Then eventually, one month later, on 3 July, the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) officers and two DSWD social workers went to Scots Foundation to rescue the children.
Again, Zimmer confronted them and gave off foul language and picked up a spear and threw it at the social workers, it grazed one of them. The NBI agents overcame their fears and sprang into action before Zimmer could throw the second spear.
They restrained and handcuffed her and brought her to the NBI jail and booked her. The next day, Zimmer was brought to the office of the prosecutor in Olongapo city and a lawyer was appointed to represent her. A Preda social worker was there also.
The female prosecutor heard all the evidence, the fearsome spears were presented as evidence of the attack on the officials. Two male foreigners showed up, friends of Zimmer but when they heard that probable cause was established by the prosecutor, they left immediately. Zimmer was presented before the court at 7pm that same night and remanded to the city jail. Kudos for the judge.
The children were taken into care in a private child care center. One child said when there was electricity in the house of Zimmer, they were before a camera naked. Another seven year-old girl child said she was groomed with make up and a party dress and brought to a party of adults. It has since been established by medical examination the three girls ages about six or seven have been severely sexually abused.
The children are being given full support and comfort, good food and clothes and are eager to tell all that happened to them. More has yet to be revealed… (to be continued)
Just even reading this dreadful article and seeing the picture of a starving, dirty little boy eating scraps is enough to make anyone sick. This child was not one of my children. Cullen is truly evil but maybe when you see the pictures of my beautiful children, the farm and my patients you hopefully will have a different opinion of me. I was happy taking care of people and now the only thing left for me to do is prevent Cullen from doing this kind of thing to anyone else. He has abused so many people in his quest for fame and fortune.
Before I even go on with the preparation of this website I must show pictures of my children.
Cullen and I were raised at about the same time and it is only 220 miles from my home in Dunfermline to his childhood home in Dublin. We both learned that “Sticks and stones will break my bones but names will never hurt me.” Such a ridiculous statement, it hurts to have someone write such awful things and Cullen is a master, or so he thinks, of hurting people with names. Not only my words against him but the words of others, some long dead, but those words which were written many years before I reached the Philippines will come back to haunt him.
I have every intention of taking the information that I have to the Vatican but Cullen is not afraid of Pope Francis. Cullen is quoted in an article published in “Clerical Whispers” in 2009 when he won the prestigious Meteor Award and its 100,000 euro gift.
“I’m an unpaid volunteer. I like to tell my superiors: ‘You don’t own me.”
I was a bit shocked when I read this statement of Cullen and it reminded me of what I had been told by a member of Homeland Security. I was told Cullen was not really a priest. It also reminded me of the day when I was in jail when I asked Fr. Mike Duffin what was the Bishop saying and could he help me. Fr. Mike simply told me that no one has any control over Cullen and the Columbans would do nothing because he made them too much money.
The following statement let’s me know that Cullen knows that people should be considered innocent until proven guilty but he had me found guilty of dreadful crimes and put it all over the internet before I even had a lawyer.
This is another statement of Cullen:
“We have to take a stand against these violations and stand for the value of life and due process of law and the principle that all are innocent until proven guilty. Otherwise not only are more suspects vulnerable but we are all vulnerable if death squads are allowed to have their murderous way.”
This statement he also gave is rather good and I refuse to be silenced.
“Silence is consent in the face of human rights abuse.”
The documents I brought back from the Philippines Cullen will wish I did not have. I have spoken with a lot of people, including ex-workers of Preda, and what they told me was most interesting and damning.
Cullen does not like anyone to criticize him, in fact, he hates it so much that he took out a case of grave slander against a Department of Social Development worker for having the audacity to criticize him and then bragged about winning the case on his Preda website. Any Christian would or should be upset that a priest would do such a thing to a woman who was probably earning less than $400 per month. I might point out that it is extremely difficult to find work in the Philippines. She must have been petrified but it was a warning to other government workers not to criticize him.
Government Social Worker Charged in Court for Slanderous Words Against Preda
The case for grave slander filed by the Preda executive director against a local social worker at the Office of the Provincial Prosecutor of Zambales was resolved on 18 July 2016 by the prosecutor in favor of Preda and forwarded to the Court.
Francis B. Bermido Jr., Preda executive director, filed his complaint on August 27, 2015 against Sahra V. Soria, local social worker of the municipality of San Marcelino, Zambales. The case stemmed from the alleged refusal and failure of Ms. Soria to extend help to a seven-year old boy and his mother when they came to her office for help. The boy said he was slapped and subjected to verbal abuse by his teacher.
The mother of the victim said in her sworn statement that instead of helping them, Ms. Soria insisted on an amicable settlement and gave unpleasant comments about Preda that tend to injure its good name and integrity.
In her sworn statement, Ms. Soria said she merely asked the mother if the incident involving her child was repeated, and if not, she opined that “it can only be child abuse if it is recurrent and there is manifestation of change in the behavior of the child.” This is contrary to the Anti-Child Abuse Law otherwise known as RA 7610 which defines child abuse in section 3(b) as “”maltreatment, whether habitual or not, of the child. . .’
In his resolution, David S. Bartolome Jr. Assistant Provincial Prosecutor, stated that “there is oral defamation even if other persons and not the offended party heard the slanderous words.”
My website contains the many Deportation requests, complaints to the Philippine Government officials about his behavior and cases that he has taken out on people, whose lives and reputations were ruined. Cullen thinks he ruined my life and reputation but instead he has put me on a path of showing the world who he really is and what he does with the many donations he receives for ‘rescuing’.
Cullen has bragged that he was exonerated and found innocent of RAPE charges filed against him. That is not quite the truth. The case of the rape is on another page of this website.
A CASE OF KISSING A BOY AND SHOWING PICTURES AND VIDEOS OF ADULTS HAVING SEX WITH CHILDREN
This was found in the hundreds of documents I brought back from the Philippines, it is disturbing. It was written in 1995. I have retyped this document as it is not easy to read.
“Any cleric or monk who seduces young men or boys, or who is apprehended in kissing or in any shameful situation, shall be publicly flogged and shall lose his clerical tonsure. Thus shorn, he shall be disgraced by spitting in his face, bound in iron chains, wasted by six months of close confinement, and for three days each week put on barley bread given him toward evening. Following this period, he shall spend a further six months living in a small segregated courtyard in custody of a spiritual elder, kept busy with manual labor and prayer, subjected to vigils and prayers, forced to walk at all times in the company of two spiritual brothers, never again allowed to associate with young men.” St. Peter Damian, to Pope Leo IX, A.D. 1049. Letter 31:3
This is just for kissing and was written a thousand years ago. There was a problem then and there is an even greater problem now. Bishop Accountability is a very interesting website but what is truly unbelievable, Shay Cullen even writes on that web site. He is a master at covering himself in ‘newspapers.’
COVER-UPS GOING ON IN OLONGAPO AROUND THE SAME TIME
REV. MOISES ALEXIS C. JAVIER
Javier was accused by two altar boys (one 18 and another 19 at the time) of molesting them in 2001-02 at a Catholic school about three hours west of Manila, in the Philippines.
Javier left in 2002. The former bishop of his diocese told the AP that Javier went to the U.S., where his parents and a sister live. “We allowed him,” the former bishop said. “His mother got sick and he went there to take care of her.”
Ryan Mau, the parish secretary at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton in Rowland Heights, Calif., said Javier was the parish’s associate pastor for two years, starting sometime in 2003. Javier died on Jan. 23, 2008.
The AP has copies of two letters sent in June 2002 by the lay leaders at the St. Columban parish in Olongapo to then-Bishop Deogracias Iniguez and other diocesan leaders about the alleged abuse.
Frustrated by the lack of action, one of the lay leaders, Olet Enriquez, e-mailed the Vatican in September 2003 to report the alleged sexual harassment. He said he got an unsigned reply telling him to take his case to the papal nuncio in Manila. He said he sent a lengthy follow-up letter to the same Vatican e-mail address in January 2004, restating the case, but never got a reply.
Anyone who has been abused by Cullen would not have a chance in Hell of getting any support.
President Duterte stated recently that he was abused by a priest and it took him years to say such a thing in public. When I read about President Duterte I didn’t think about him as President of the Philippines. All I could think about was that he had been a young boy who was afraid of saying anything about a priest, and I started to cry. I respect him for coming forward. His statements might allow other young people to come forth and point the finger at priests who were charged with taking care of them but instead ruined their childhood and their trust in the men who were supposed to show them the way.
U.K AND IRELAND
Half allegations against Columbans involved one priest review Missionary order ‘commended’ on its commitment to the management of accused men Mon, May 12, 2014, 15:59
Twelve priests at the Missionary Society of St Columban (Columbans) faced 41 allegations since January 1st 1975, with one convicted in the courts, a review by the church’s child protection watchdog has found. The National Board for Safeguarding Children (NBSC) review found that “the vast majority of the allegations on file (24 in total, with three which are indeterminate) refer to P.M., who was a Columban priest from 1960 until his suspension from the Society in 2000. P.M .had served as a priest in Ireland, in Japan and in the UK.” This refers to Patrick Maguire, a Columban priest, who was laicised in 2010. He has been convicted a number of times both in the UK and Ireland. He is currently serving two suspended sentences of three years dating from May of last year and resides under strict supervision at the the Columban’s Dalgan Park in Co Meath. He also featured in the 2009 Murphy report as he abused while in the Dublin archdiocese for a period.
Of the remaining 17 allegations against Columban missionaries, the review has found that “eight refer to five living priests and nine to a total of six deceased priests. Three of the living priests reside in Ireland and their cases have been referred to the civil authorities. There have been no prosecutions in these cases to date. All are subject to internal management by the Society.”
However, the reviewers were advised “of the residence in Dalgan Park of a priest who was not a Columban, in respect of whom a child abuse allegation had previously been made whilst in his own diocese.”
The reviewers noted that the diocese had advised the NBSC “that there was verbal communication, although there is no record of this in the safeguarding files.” This, it felt, was “ far from satisfactory, as none of the current Columban postholders were made aware of the relevant safeguarding information, which included background details and the imposition of restrictions by his own bishop”.
A process is now in place for assessment and risk management appropriate to this particular case, it found but that “the reviewers are critical of the diocese’s failure to inform the Columban Missionaries in writing, which is unacceptable from a child safeguarding perspective.” It is understood this refers to a west of Ireland diocese. The review felt the incident illustrated “the importance of clear lines of communication in relation to safeguarding children in the interfaces between religious organisations and dioceses and the importance of appropriate information sharing.”
The reviewers noted that “the Columban Missionaries have actively sought to provide outreach and support to victims where possible, including those cases where the respondent priests are deceased”. The NBSC reviewers “noted that none of the men against whom allegations have been made have left the Columban community, despite the imposition of restrictions and supervision by the Society. Representatives from the civil agencies have described the management of these men within the community as an important protective factor”.
The review continued “the Society is commended on its commitment to the management of these men, which makes an important contribution towards the reduction of the risk of reoffending”.
It also said that “representatives from an Garda Síochana and from the Health Service Executive (HSE) have confirmed to the reviewers that communication with the Society has greatly improved and is moving in the right direction in terms of reporting allegations and consulting on responding to concerns.” It said the Columbans were “ currently engaged in a worldwide policy review, guided by the experience gained in the Irish region, to improve the safeguarding standards expected from all regions around the world”.
I find the date (May 24th., 2014) of the above newspaper article interesting, it was published for all to see just a few weeks before Cullen went after me. I can only surmise that this was Cullen’s attempt to deflect anything away from him.
Another important case concerning the Columban Missionary Fathers. I found this on “Broken Rites” an Australian website which covers every case they can find in Australia.
“SHAUN” (born in 1968) told police (in a sworn, written statement in 2004) that, when he was aged 11 in 1979, he was living in St Vincent’s parish, Strathmore (north Essendon). Shaun’s mother wanted him to undergo the Catholic ceremony of Confirmation, which would involve receiving “religious instruction” from a local assistant priest, Father Raymond Whitehouse. Shaun refused to be alone with Fr Ray Whitehouse because (Shaun says) Whitehouse previously had stroked Shaun’s leg with sexual intent; and, furthermore, Whitehouse was keen to take Shaun away on a trip. So the parish assigned Shaun to an outside priest, Fr Terry Pidoto. Pidoto was then officially at the Box Hill North parish, but, as explained earlier in this article, he himself had been a teenager in the Strathmore/Essendon area. Shaun’s preparation for Confirmation involved him having meetings with Pidoto — alone, at night. Shaun alleges that Pidoto sexually assaulted him once at St Vincent’s presbytery, Strathmore, and once at the nearby headquarters of the Columban Fathers, 69 Woodland Street, Strathmore (north Essendon).
That is, Pidoto allegedly took this victim (“Shaun”) to the Columban Fathers headquarters in Strathmore in 1979, in much the same way as he had taken another victim (“Roger”) to Melbourne’s Corpus Christi seminary in Glen Waverley in 1972. Shaun, who was a spectator in court during the 2007 trial, told Broken Rites that the Columban Fathers owe him an an apology for allowing Pidoto to use their premises in this way.
Shaun alleges that a certain Columban priest accompanied Pidoto on the occasion of Shaun’s assault. And, by an interesting coincidence, Pidoto was living at the Columban headquarters in Strathmore during his jury trials in 2000, 2001. In court, Pidoto was asked for his residential address, and he gave the address of the Columban headquarters. The “Society of St Columban” was founded in Ireland in 1918 to “evangelise” the people of China and what the Columbans called “the Far East”. The society established an Australian branch in Melbourne in 1920 but its Australian activities are focused largely on fundraising to finance its “missionary” work abroad. The bulk of its Australian priests are working overseas an alarming situation if the Columban missions provide accommodation for priests of the calibre of Terrence Pidot.
One more case by a Columban Missionary priest. Published two days before I was arrested.
PUBLISHED: July 1, 2014 at 11:01 pm | UPDATED: November 3, 2015
More often, the Rev. Alphonsus Ferguson would kiss and fondle him in a church vestibule after Mass and pluck a nickel or dime from the collection box as a reward, the now-75-year-old man said in an interview.
The plaintiff, identified in court documents as John Doe 110, claimed that Ferguson would call him into the church rectory in the early 1950s and take him into his bedroom. He then anally raped him, the man said.
The assaults “tore and damaged (the boy’s) rectum so severely that plaintiff now suffers from rectal fissures,” the lawsuit, filed Wednesday in Ramsey County District Court, asserted.
The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis was negligent in its duty toward the plaintiff and in its supervision and employment of Ferguson, the suit claimed.
The Pioneer Press generally does not identify victims of alleged sex crimes.
A native of Ireland, Ferguson served as associate pastor of Guardian Angels from 1950 to 1965, the archdiocese confirmed. He was a member of the Missionary Society of St. Columban, based near Omaha, Neb., according to the society and an obituary published upon Ferguson’s May 1973 death in Dublin.
In April 1968, while Ferguson was living at Regina Nursing Home in Hastings, a reception was held honoring the 50th anniversary of his ordination, according to an article in the St. Paul Dispatch.
The man who sued the archdiocese said in an interview Tuesday that he witnessed Ferguson molesting 20 to 30 other altar boys.
“As soon as you would come in (to the church), he would just grab your arm and pull you to his lap and French-kiss you and unzip your pants and fondle you,” the man said. “He reeked of cigarettes and liquor — wine or who knows what.”
The fondling took place in a small changing area off the sanctuary, where the altar boys would put on their cloaks, he said. After Mass, Ferguson would sometimes molest the boys again, giving them with a nickel or dime from the collection box, the man said. It was a lot of money for the time, he added.
On a couple of occasions, Ferguson called the boy into his bedroom and raped him, he said. Afterward, the victim would go back to playing marbles outside the church with the other children.
“I feel like that Catholic Church stole my youth,” the man said. For years, he wanted to burn the church down; the only thing that stopped him was the thought that someone may be inside.
“I just want it to stop,” he said, adding he sued to make sure Ferguson’s name was put on the list of abusers. “I don’t want other kids to get hurt.”
At the time of the abuse, he was about 10 or 12. He told his mother what was happening. She told him, “You shouldn’t say that about a priest,” the man said.
Thomas Wieser, attorney for the archdiocese, said officials there had never before received allegations of sexual abuse involving Ferguson.
“There was nothing from the review of this priest’s file to indicate anything in terms of misconduct,” Wieser said, referring to the review of more than 3,300 files the archdiocese asked a private firm to conduct late last year. He noted that the claims from the current lawsuit go back more than 60 years.
Although he had not personally seen Ferguson’s file, Wieser said he was told there was very little information of any kind in it.
In addition to his assignment in Hastings, Ferguson worked in Nebraska, Iowa and Ireland, said Patrick Noaker, the plaintiff’s attorney.
Guardian Angels Church, at 216 E. Fourth St. in Hastings, merged with St. Boniface in 1987 to become St. Elizabeth Ann Seton.
Two other accused priests also served at Guardian Angels: the Rev. Patrick Ryan, who was at the church from 1943 to 1965, and the Rev. Thomas Stitts, who served there from 1966 to 1970.
This article was printed in The Irish Echo – December 14, 2011
The Head of the Columbans in Chile steps down
An Irish missionary priest is under investigation by church authorities following accusations he sexually abused two young men in Chile during the 1980s.
Fr. Jeremiah Healy stepped down as head of the Columban Fathers missionary society’s operation in the country in May after the first of the two men reported the alleged abuse to the society.
In June a second man made similar claims in a declaration presented to the Archbishop of Santiago, Ricardo Ezzati Andrello.
Originally from Co. Kerry, Fr. Healy was known in Chile as “Padre Derry” and has been a missionary there since 1981, working in communities in Villa Frei, Pudahuel, Valparaíso and Santiago.
The first man, Claudio Ramos, said he met Fr. Healy in 1983 when he was 14 years old, and claimed the abuse started two years later after Fr. Healy offered him space in his house to study as he was unable to do so at home due to family problems. “He was a friend and very sympathetic and open. At this time I liked art films and he had a VHS machine and would invite me to watch videos,” he said. “Then when we were alone he abused this confidence I had in him.”
The second man, Jorge Salas, who is now Mr. Ramos’s brother-in-law, said in his declaration to Santiago’s archbishop that he met Fr. Healy in 1983 when he was 19 years old. The priest became a friend and helped him at a time when he was having difficulties in his relationships with friends and family.
Salas said when he was 23 years old Fr Healy initiated a sexual relationship, claiming it would teach him “new sexual techniques and with all this I would be protected from women.”
Salas said the relationship left him “ashamed and confused” and he broke it off in 1989. He said he finally got the confidence to tell his wife after the exposure last year of one of Chile’s best-known priests Fernando Karadima as a serial child abuser, in a case that stunned the deeply Catholic country.
“I waited for an opportunity and told my wife. She believed me and said she suspected her brother Claudio had gone through the same thing.
“She confronted Derry and he confessed that he had sexually abused Claudio when he was a child,” he said.
Fr. Healy resigned as the Columbans’ director in Chile after the formal accusation was made. His replacement, Fr. Álvaro Martínez, said an internal investigation has already been carried out and presented to the society’s superior general in Hong Kong, who then passed it on to the Vatican.
“Rome will express its will,” he added.
The regional director of the Columban Fathers in Ireland, Fr. Donal Hogan, said the society was “deeply disheartened by news of alleged sexual abuse by one of our members in Chile”.
“I’ve known Derry for years and years,” he said. “With the permission of our superior general, I accessed his files going back to student years. There was not a hint of any complaint. My own reaction is one of total shock.”
Abuse by Irish Priest could be Tip of the Iceberg
By Michael Bradley Japan Times October 2, 2012
Position of trust: Father Patrick Maguire’s 13-year stay in Japan ended when the Columban Fathers spirited him back to Ireland in 1974 following a “problem” with “young male children.” He went on to abuse dozens more minors in the U.K. and Ireland.
It is over three years since it was revealed that an Irish Catholic priest had abused several children in Japan. His victims here are probably still unaware their tormentor was a serial offender.
Father Patrick Maguire worked in Japan between 1961 and 1974, during which time he has admitted to abusing at least 13 boys, 10 of them in 1973. The priest subsequently went on to abuse dozens more children in Britain and Ireland, and has been convicted (and imprisoned) on separate counts of indecent assault in both jurisdictions. He has never been held to account for his actions in this country.
“Bishop Hirata was most understanding but said that it would be best that Pat slip out of Japan quietly.” So wrote a fellow priest in Maguire’s Columban Fathers to the society’s head in Ireland in 1974. The reason for Maguire’s hasty exit was a “problem” involving “young male children” and “a danger that the weekly magazines would latch onto a thing like that and blow it up out of all proportions.” So, fearing adverse publicity, the Church spirited him back to Ireland. For his Japanese victims, that was probably the last they heard of Father Maguire.
Throughout his 40-year career, Maguire consistently exploited his position as a priest to create opportunities for abuse. He once told a therapist: “I thought of ways of meeting boys, engaging (them) in conversation. . . . I planned ways of seeing them with other boys, and eventually ways of being alone with them in places where they felt safe . I planned ways of getting them alone where no one else could observe and where undressing would not be thought out of place, like bathing together, changing at the pool, showering after a swim, and eventually ways of getting them to spend the night, and sleep with me in bed.”
A 2009 investigation into clerical sex abuse in Ireland, the Murphy Report, concluded that Maguire probably “abused hundreds of children in all parts of Ireland as well as in the U.K. and Japan.” He worked in three separate dioceses here: Tokyo, Yokohama and Fukuoka. According to his own testimony, much of the abuse happened in a parish in Kumamoto in 1973. The Murphy Report, which was released in a blaze of publicity in July 2009, led to enormous criticism of the Catholic Church in Ireland. Despite this, it seems Maguire’s Japanese victims have still not been made aware of his awful record.
“One of the huge impacts of Murphy (and other reports into clerical sex abuse) is that it helped victims in Ireland realize they were not the only people this happened to, and this helped to reduce the sense of shame and isolation that they felt,” says Maeve Lewis, the Director of One in Four, an Irish charity set up to help the survivors of sexual violence. She says that each of Maguire’s Japanese victims “may well believe he is the only person this happened to.” If they realized the truth, she adds, some of them would probably begin to speak out.
So far, the society to which Maguire belonged has not tried to identify any of his Japanese victims. Father Donal Hogan, the regional director of the Columbans in Ireland, said, “We only contact victims where they make themselves known to us.” None of Maguire’s Japanese victims has so far done so.
“The principle objective in not approaching victims is to ensure that no stress or further pain is caused by our actions,” Hohan said. “We deeply regret the trauma, suffering and irreparable damage Patrick Maguire inflicted on his many victims.”
The Missionary Society of St. Columban (commonly abbreviated to the “Columban Fathers” or simply “the Columbans”) was established in Ireland in around 1916 with the aim of sending priests to China to convert the country. After World War II, the society began providing missionaries to Japan, at the request of local bishops. For a number ofdecades the Columbans, rather than the Japanese bishops, ran the parishes where their members worked. The situation has since changed and all parishes in Japan are now administered directly by the bishops (although foreign Columban Fathers continue to work in this country).
While the Columbans in Ireland have not contacted Maguire’s victims, it is possible that the Japanese bishops may have done so. Years before the publication of the Murphy Report, the bishops of the three dioceses where Maguire had worked were informed of his convictions in Britain (1998) and Ireland (2000 and 2007). However, Father Leo Schumacher, the director of the Columbans in Japan, said “the presumption is that there has been no outreach” by the bishops. He added that it is hard to be definitive about this because “there have so many people in positions of authority over the last 40 years.” Bishop Hirata, who oversaw Maguire’s shameful departure from Japan in the early 1970s,died in 2007.
The current bishop of Fukuoka declined to answer any questions on this matter.
Maeve Lewis thinks it would be helpful if Maguire’s former congregations were made aware of his record, either through the media “or through information disseminated through church structures or networks — even things like notices displayed in church porches.”
Schumacher, who was only appointed Japan director earlier this year (and who had no knowledge of Maguire’s abuse here prior to my contacting him), says he intends to “speak to the communities where Patrick Maguire was assigned.” “My priority is to reach out to any victims who may need help,” he said.
Father Hogan, meanwhile, “invites anyone who has been damaged as a result of child sexual abuse by a Columban to contact us and/or the appropriate local authorities.”
The Columbans say Maguire, now in his mid-70s, has been laicized — removed from thepriesthood — but continues to live with the society in Ireland “under strict conditions.”
Moving a priest in the face of allegations of sexual abuse was not unique to Japan. (Indeed after leaving Japan, Maguire was summarily transferred from his first parish in Ireland, following more allegations of abuse.) In the U.S., the practice resulted in a major scandal in the Archdiocese of Boston. In 2002 Archbishop Bernard Law had to resign, and the church was forced to pay out $85 million, after it emerged that six serial abusers (among them, Father John Geoghan , whose victims numbered more than 500) had been systematically transferred from parish to parish to avoid exposure.
Coverups of a similar magnitude then emerged in dioceses right across the country, including Dallas, Seattle, Denver and Los Angeles. This same pattern — one or two high-profile cases precipitating an avalanche of complaints, many going back decades — has been repeated in Catholic congregations around the world, from Latin America to Australia to Ireland.
In 1994 the president of Ireland’s main seminary resigned after allegations of sexual abuse against him were made public. Around the same time, another high-profile case emerged against Father Brendan Smyth, who over a 40-year period indecently assaulted over 100 children on both sides of the Irish border. These cases opened the floodgates as thousands of victims began to speak out, forcing the authorities to launch a number of judicial investigations.
The 2009 Murphy Report, which dealt with just one archdiocese, Dublin, found that bishops had effectively turned a blind eye to 46 abusing priests, including Maguire, over a 30-year period. In the same year, another government-commissioned report detailed a horrific catalogue of rapes and abuse at children’s homes and borstals run by religious orders nationwide.
Maguire’s is one of the first cases of clerical sex abuse to come to light in Japan. There have been a couple of other publicized cases over the past decade, but neither involved Catholic clergy. In 2006 Tamotsu Kin, 62, the founder of the Central Church of Holy God in Kyoto, was sentenced to 20 years for sexually abusing seven girls aged between 12 and 16 over a four-year period. The previous year, also in Kyoto, an Epicopalian priest, Fumio Harada, was convicted in a civil court of abusing a young girl and forced to pay damages. He was subsequently defrocked.
The relatively small Catholic community here — there are just half a million members, less than 0.5 percent of the population — will be hoping that Patrick Maguire was an isolated rogue priest. Unfortunately, given the experience of other countries, that’s unlikely to be the case.
I find it ironic that Fr. Hogan states that anyone who has been damaged as a result of child sexual abuse by a Columban to contact them and/or the appropriate local authorities.
My question to Fr. Hogan would be, “Does this include the father of a little girl who, I firmly believe, was raped by Cullen or the men whose lives and reputations have been destroyed by Cullen? Does it include me who was thrown in a Philippine jail and if it had not been for my family I would still be there or dead? Does it include the children he had hauled, screaming for me to help them, out of my home in the Philippines?
I seriously doubt it….. Cullen is the best at making money and ‘good press’ for the Columbans.