Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Priest accused
Former Langho priest accused of sex abuse
5:32pm Tuesday 15th March 2011

Print Email Share By David Watkinson »
Chief reporter

A FORMER East Lancashire rector has been accused of sexually and mentally abusing pupils in Manchester.

The Bishop of Salford has now apologised over claims that Monsignor Thomas Duggan abused scores of schoolboys during his time at St Bede’s College in Whalley Range, Manchester.

Allegations have been made against Mr Duggan by a group of 57 former pupils.

He died in 1968, shortly after moving to St Mary’s parish in Langho.

The claims all relate to Mr Duggan’s time at the Manchester school during the 1950s and 60s.

The Right Reverend Terence Brain has issued a statement saying he is ‘shocked and saddened’ by the complaints.

Allegations include claims that Mr Duggan ordered boys to strip before caning and fondling them during a campaign of ‘systematic abuse’.

The claims have been reported to the church’s Safeguarding Commission.

Bishop Brain said: “I am shocked and saddened by the complaints from some former pupils of St Bede’s College which have been brought to the attention of our Safeguarding Commission.

“The complaints have been made against the late Monsignor Thomas Duggan and relate to the period of time from the 1950s to the mid-1960s, when St Bede’s was a diocesan school.

“Although it is not suggested that there was a culture of institutional abuse at St Bede’s, nevertheless the abusive behaviour which has been reported has no place within the Catholic Church.

"I acknowledge and am deeply sorry for the pain and distress reported to have been suffered by those affected.”

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