Black Collar CrimesClergy Crimes

October 1998 –
February 1999


  • Antigua
  • Australia
  • Cyprus
  • India
  • United Kingdom
  • Zimbabwe



    ANTIGUA – Former Roman Catholic bishop Roddy Wright of Scotland disclosed that he has secretly married the woman he ran away with in 1996. He married Kathleen MacPhee here last June. After Wright resigned from the church it was revealed that he had fathered a son by another woman in 1981. He says he still backs the Catholic Church's views on celibacy.
    NCR 2/19



    BRISBANE, Queensland – John Gadwin, 65, a former Christian Brother under police investigation for alleged child-sex offenses, is believed to have committed suicide on an isolated bush road on the city's northern outskirts, gassing himself in his car.

    Police said they found a suicide note detailing the circumstances of Gadwin's death. A spokeswoman for the order said that Gadwin had left the clergy more than 20 years ago. She said the nature of the allegations was not disclosed to the Christian Brothers and that they had fully co-operated with the police.
    The Courier Mail, 11/11/98

    BRISBANE, Queensland – Former deputy director of Catholic Education for Brisbane, Fr. Ronald McKeirnan, 60, has been jailed for 3 years for molesting 9 boys , but the judge ordered the sentence suspended after 12 months. The sentence was described as totally inadequate by his victims, some of whom are considering a lawsuit.

    McKeirnan abused the boys, some under 14 years of age, during two time periods, 1964-5 and 1975-7, when he was a parish priest, school chaplain, or scoutmaster. Chief Judge Pat Shanahan said the jail term would reflect the growing public outrage, but that McKeirnan had fine references and had done outstanding work in education. He said that he had no doubt that McKeirnan was genuinely remorseful and had taken steps as early as 1973 to to rehabilitate himself, going to the US for counselling and eventually putting himself in a job where he would not be in contact with youths.
    The Courier-Mail, 10/22/98



    NICOSIA – The Greek Orthodox Church here is wobbling to its very foundations amid accusations of monks sexually harassing nuns, the downfall of a bishop allegedly involved in financial scams across the globe and priests ditching their robes for Eastern European night club strippers.

    Widely credited with preserving the Greek Cypriot community during the dominance of numerous conquerors over the centuries, the institution, an independent branch of the Eastern Orthodox Church, is now the butt of crude jokes.

    Onlookers say the mud-slinging is a feud pitting the "old order" of bishops running the church like a personal business against monks from a strait-laced order based in Greece whose influence in Cyprus has grown over the years.

    The Church is reeling from claims that Elder Monk Paisios, from the monastic commune of Mount Athos in northern Greece sexually harassed nuns while he was in Cyprus 17 years ago. The charges are being leveled by the bishop of the western region of Paphos, a cleric powerful in his own right and said to have significant sway over the island's chief bishop, Chrysostomos, nicknamed "Tommis," who has ruled the church since 1977. The Paphos bishop, also named Chrysostomos, claims the monk made sexual advances in a convent and sent a love letter to a nun in which he professes his desire to spend the night with her. Excerpts of the letter appeared in daily newspapers.

    In the second official probe this year, sparing him the humiliation of being defrocked, the Church last month accepted the resignation of Chrysanthos, a long-time bishop of Limassol for involvement in more than a dozen cases of corruption. He was catapulted into the headlines by disclosures that British police wanted to question him in a fraud inquiry. The inquiry, which is continuing, centers on claims Chrysanthos was behind a scheme offering investors unrealistically high returns on their investments. The Church, which carried out an inquiry of its own, also accused him of damaging relations with Russia's Orthodox Church. It is a widely held belief that behind the dispute are attempts to control the Church, an institution with businesses ranging from industry to broadcasting and real estate worth millions. The Church acquired most of its wealth through public donations by the rich but also from peasants in bygone eras, but it now lacks the respect of many people and critics see it as arrogant.

    In Oct., Fr. Papayiannis was stripped of his standing in the church after confessing to charges of abandoning his wife and four children for a Romanian dancer. He has since returned to his family. The priest's affair with the stripper was front-page news after a TV channel showed a photograph of two black-bearded priests dressed in traditional ankle-length black cassocks leaving a brothel. The other priest, also suspended, claimed he had only picked up Papayiannis there to drive him home. Another village priest is awaiting trial for possessing a pistol unlawfully.
    AP, 2/14/99, 10/29/98, Reuters, 12/28/98



    NEW DELHI – A sex and pornography ring has been broken by police at an ashram – a Hindu monastery/retreat center – in north India where it is believed about a dozen "disciples," mostly women, were being used by a self-styled Hindu "godman."

    Baba Krishna Das, 45, escaped arrest apparently because he was out for a walk at the time of the raid. Three men and 9 women between 21 and 38 years old were arrested at Meerabai Ashram in the Hindu pilgrimage town of Mathura, 85 miles south of New Delhi. Police said the ashram, which many had thought was a center for Hindu revivalism was actually a brothel where Das produced pornographic movies. They said he enticed young women into the ashram in the name of the Hindu religion, drugged them, photographed them naked and then blackmailed them into performing in porno movies. A large stack of pornographic literature and videos and a video camera were seized.

    The ashram was suspected after scores of video stores were discovered distributing the tapes, but none of the sex slaves had approached local authorities for help.
    The Guardian, 12/24/98



    LONDON, England – A 12-month conditional sentence was given in London to Fr. John Gerard Stock, 69, on the last of a string of sexual assaults on young altar boys dating to the 1950s. Stock pleaded guilty to gross indecency dating back to the mid-70s. The victim, an altar boy, was 10 to 12 years old at the time. The former priest is living with in Toronto. Stock pleaded guilty to indecently assaulting another London altar boy 20 years ago and was given a 12-month conditional sentence. His concurrent sentences, work out to two-years-less-a-day. Stock received in Stratford last month after pleading guilty to 34 counts of gross indecency spanning 22 years from 1959 to 1981 and involving 16 young males.
    Free Press Reporter, 1/17/99



    HARARE, Zimbabwe — Former president, Rev. Canaan Banana, 62, who fled the country just before his conviction on sodomy and sexual assualt charges, turned himself in to authorities. Banana had been hiding in Botswana and South Africa. He told a judge he had left the country to discuss politics with other African leaders. The court ordered him placed under house arrest in his suburban mansion.

    On Nov. 26, Banana was convicted of 11 counts of sodomy, attempted sodomy and indecent assault, allsteming from incidents with young male bodygaurds, gardeners and cooks assigned to him when he was president from 1980-87.
    Chicago Tribune, 12/17/98



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