BY ANTHONY BRIELE
The Jesuits moved quickly this week to apologise for the crimes of one of their number, Fr James ChaningPearce, found guilty of child abuse last week.
Fr Chaning-Pearce, a former teacher at Stonyhurst College, Lancashire, was jailed for five years for molesting four boys at the school between 1987 and 1995. The abuse came to light after a complaint to the headmaster in 1995 from a former pupil living in Zimbabwe. The priest was arrested in June 1996.
The Provincial (Superior) of the Society of Jesus, Fr James Crampsey, said this week that the Society "is profoundly sorry for all the pain caused". He said: "Fr ChaningPearce deeply regrets what he has done. And his future, after serving the sentence handed down by the court, will be a matter of continuing discussion between himself and his superiors.
"However he will not be permitted by the Society of Jesus to practise his ministry in work with children or young people." "Healing and reconciliation," he said, "are now a priority."
Sentencing Fr ChaningPearce at Preston Crown Court, Judge Reginald Lockett ordered that his name should be added to the national sex offenders register.
Fr Crampsey said the Jesuits had now adopted their own strict protocol to prevent any similar occurrence.