Here’s a new post from Old Boy Michael, who I would assume went to Beulah Hill.
‘I went to a De La Salle school in London and experienced violent behaviour throughout my time at the school. In Northern Ireland they are having a Truth and Reconciliation Commission as part of letting go of the troubles and they asked that we report any violence or other misdemeanour. I emailed the Diocese Office in London and was put in contact with the current head of the De La Salle order in England, a brother named Lawrence Hughes. I then saw that your article named a Brother Lawrence Hughes as a violent teacher. Needless to say I have had a less than satisfactory dialogue with him and I wondered if the current head of the order is the same man that you mentioned.
I cannot remember any teacher who did not cane, strap, beat or punish me. I would appreciate your thoughts.
As I’ve replied to Michael, it is indeed the same man: Hughes.
Here’s my current thoughts on the De La Salle order which Hughes is head of.
The problem many survivors face is similar to Michael’s: the Catholic Church and the De La Salle Order passes the buck endlessly and this is what’s happened here.
However, there is a small ray of hope. A very small ray.
There’s the NEW Catholic Safeguarding Organisation now known as The Catholic Standards Safeguarding Agency CSSA which replaces two earlier systems.
It happened just this month.
Its head is Nazir Afzal who is an excellent choice – a Muslim who pursued the Rochdale paedophile rings and he is clearly an honourable and genuine man.
I’m sure the Church’s reason for appointing him is pure window dressing to make them look good and they must have factored in that they can still carry on as before: sweeping everything under the carpet.
I think it may be different with Nazir, even though there is no current mandatory reporting of abuse.
I’ve listened to an excellent audio podcast of Cardinal Nichols’ safeguarding officer a few weeks ago and whilst the lady concerned is clearly genuine it was so obvious her hands were tied.
Nazir is not a Catholic and he has a reputation to uphold, so I’m not sure how far they can restrict him.
Even so, the terms of his remit and the likelihood that endless survivors will come forward means that more buckpassing is likely. And the Clergy are experts at this. They’ve been doing it for centuries and they’re not stupid. They will have thought about this long and hard before appointing Nazir.
However, I think there’s a case that could be made to the CSSA that the De La Salle Order UK is suspect with a man like Hughes at its head with three testimonies of violence against him. See a past post.
Given that the DLS still run UK schools that does not seem appropriate.
Hughes should resign.
Furthermore, that historic cases against the DLS which have been ignored – such as Michael’s and the endless DLS abuse cases on this blog – should be investigated in order to ensure the DLS is now safe.
It’s no good saying that’s all in the past. It’s still relevant to today.
It’s surely the CSSA’s responsibility to do this, especially given that the DLS have fobbed off survivors as Michael’s post also suggests.
That could be a way forward, Michael. Feel free to use anything on this site, including this post.
Be prepared for the CSSA to buck pass. To say it’s another department or refer it to the safeguarding at Diocese level. But they just might respond, given that they know their boss is Nazir and they must be scared of more bad publicity.
Nazir is also on Twitter, so if you get screwed around (which I bet you will) you could always approach him direct. Go over their heads.
It’s something I plan to do myself at some point, but my first stage is to do a summary page of the crimes of the DLS for quick reference. Currently there’s far too much for an investigator to read. This includes an example of DLS serious organized crime which may be transgenerational and thus especially relevant today. (‘The Shocking Truth About St Joseph’s’). In that example, a child nearly died. If he had, it would have been manslaughter. At least.
Summarising will take a while and I need to have the patience to deal with buck passing that will follow. Plus I’m also pursuing Catholic abusers from a different direction.
But the DLS are still on my radar and I will deal with them soon. Not least because children today in DLS UK schools could still be at risk if a physical abuser like Hughes is still in charge.
Good luck, Michael.