Disturbing Details Revealed in Case Against UK Catholic Priest

A priest has been jailed in the UK for physically and sexually torturing a young student for years, enabled by Catholic officials. We are glad that these allegations came to light and that this dangerous abuser has been identified and removed. We now call on law enforcement to investigate the disturbing decisions that allowed this perpetrator to go unchecked and untethered for so long.

The abuse that this young boy suffered at the hands of Fr. Joseph Quigley has been termed a “gothic horror.” Our hearts break for the victim and we hope that he is getting the help and support he needs. In addition to the appalling tortures this youth experienced, we are outraged at the indifference shown by UK Catholic officials to the allegations against Fr. Quigley. Accusations of abuse by the priest first came to light in 2008, and in response, Church leaders shipped him off to St. Luke’s for six months, a “treatment center” for abusive priests.

We are not sure what is worse – that Catholic officials truly believed that six months was enough time to treat someone with violent abusive tendencies, or that Church leaders allowed Fr. Quigley to routinely visit schools following his return to the UK. Catholic officials had been made aware of allegations against Fr. Quigley more than once and still saw fit to send him as a representative of their institution to schools full of vulnerable children. Hundreds of children were exposed to unnecessary risk due to these decisions and we hope that law enforcement officials are investigating to determine whether any other laws were broken.

We are glad that Fr. Quigley has been jailed and we know that children will be safer as a result of this decision. Now, attention must turn to the Diocese of Birmingham to determine what went wrong, who knew what, and why they made the choices they did. Children and the vulnerable remain at risk of another man like Fr. Quigley while those who enabled the priest’s abuse remain in power. We hope that parents and parishioners will use their voices to demand answers from their Church leaders now.

CONTACT: Zach Hiner, SNAP Executive Director ([email protected], 517-974-9009)

(SNAP, the Survivors Network, has been providing support for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings for 30 years. We have more than 25,000 survivors and supporters in our network. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)

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