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Bede Parry, a former monk at a Benedictine monastery in Missouri, has admitted he had inappropriate sexual relations with several members of the Abbey Boy Choir of Conception. He led the choir from 1982 to 1987.

Following a lawsuit over the abuse, it is being alleged that his history has been known by the church for some time. The former Monk, in an interview with the Kanses City Star is reported as saying:

After serving about two years as the music director at All Saints, Parry noticed “they needed clergy, and I felt called. I talked to the bishop, and she accepted me. And I told her at the time that there was an incident of sexual misconduct at Conception Abbey in ’87. The Episcopal Church dozen’t have a ‘one strike and you’re out’ policy, so it didn’t seem like I was any particular threat. She said she’d have to check the canons, and she did.”

The bishop at the time was Katharine Jefferts Schori, now presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church of the United States. Parry said, however, that he did not tell her about the incidents before 1987 at Conception Abbey.

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Parry confirmed to The Star his three relationships between 1973 and 1979 at Conception Abbey and one in 1981 in Minnesota. He said he reported those incidents to then-abbot Jerome Hanus at Conception Abbey and to the abbot at St. John’s Abbey in Minnesota.

The Abbey is claiming that they just learned of this allegation. It will be interesting to see what this interview and these disclosures produce in future evidence.

It is important that the message keep getting out and that those who give voice to disclosure continue to be supported and representatives of the Church truly practice a policy of zero tolerance. Secrecy and nondisclosure is what this festering scab does not need.

Abuse of children and the continued silence by the offenders needs to be prevented. If you suffered, saw, or suspected such events, it is important to know that there is help out there.

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