Saturday, 19 July 2014

"Let us away. He will rise no more."

On 16 Jul 2014, at 18:14, "Graham Wilmer" <> wrote:
Dear Mervyn

Thank you for your response. I can only imagine that, were you to have had the services of Reginald FitzUrse, William de Tracey, Hugh de Morville and Richard le Breton, as King Henry did on December 29th 1170, you too would probably have delighted in hearing them say: "Let us away. He will rise no more.

Well, that is not how this will end. I don't trust you because you have only ever dealt with the problems of systemic child abuse in Salesian schools on the basis of the minimum response needed to protect the Order. You have never carried out or commissioned an independent review into child abuse in your schools. You have only ever responded, line by line, to allegations. You have never made, or sought to make, a public apology for the serial abusers in your ranks, such as Fr Terence O'Brien and Fr George Williams, rather, you have fought hard, yourself and through your lawyers, to silence any of us who dared to speak out.

Your protection of the Order, regardless of the financial cost involved, coupled with your reluctance to engage with me in any meaningful work towards facing up to the reality of the damage Salesian priests and others working in your schools, such as Hugh Madley, to name but one, have caused to children over many years, is why I and many it others don't trust you.

George Williams will die without facing justice, as the likelihood of any
police action against him is zero, but his victims, and I am one of them, will not stay silent, nor should we have to. Your final statement that what I have said is "not helpful", shows your lack
of understanding of the calamity that faces you. So, I won't ask you again to work with me to help safeguard and support children, as you have made it very clear that you have no real interest in supporting children who have been abused in Salesian schools. Your interest is only in protecting the Salesian Order, which, until you face up to the reality of the damage the Salesian Order has done, will in the end prove to be, in your own words: "not helpful".

With best wishes.
Graham Wilmer MBE
The Lantern Project

On 16 Jul 2014, at 10:54, "Mervyn Williams" <> wrote:

I have received your email of July 12th. In brief the facts of the situation are as follows:

·         The Police are aware of the allegations against George Williams.
·         As part of their enquiry they asked Bolton Social Services to check out his personal circumstances.
·         Bolton Social Services asked Bob Dodgson to do this and he came and spoke to the local Salesian community rector responsible for the Bolton community. I did not see him.
·         George Williams lives in our elderly retirement home in Bolton. This is under the oversight of the Bolton rector but at a separate location from our community house and school. He is 98, in very poor health, and not able to leave the premises unaided. This was the case when Bob Dodgson visited. 
·         How the police and Bolton Social services chose to investigate George Williams’ personal circumstances was a matter over which we had no say or control. We have not in any way sought to hinder or limit any actions or investigation that they might wish to take in relation George Williams. We have facilitated, at short notice, a recent visit of a police officer to our Bolton care home. 

At no time have I stated anything to you in relation to this matter that was incorrect or untrue. You have no grounds for your comment that you no longer have any trust in anything I say. Such comments are not helpful.  

Your subsequent email to Danny Sullivan describes this situation as an example of Salesians failing to protect children in our schools. I do not know how you can draw this conclusion when we are dealing with the actions of the Police and Bolton Social Services and George Williams is not a danger to any pupils in our schools.

Best wishes

Mervyn Williams

Rev M Williams SDB, Provincial Economer
Salesians of Don  Bosco UK, Salesian Provincial Office
Thornleigh House, Sharples Park, Bolton, BL1 6PQ
Phone: 01204 600 720
Fax: 01204 309 874  
Registered Charity No. 233779
Charity Registered in Scotland No. SC039294

From: Graham Wilmer []
Sent: 12 July 2014 22:09
To: economer; provincial
Cc: lanternproject
Subject: Further questions

Dear Mervyn
My concerns about your protection of Fr George Williams is endorsed by the latest revelations from Bolton Social Services. You will understand why I no longer have any trust in anything you say:  

Here is the content of the encrypted email message Bolton Social Services sent me yesterday, which shows that Bolton Police were not aware of the conflict of interest involving Bob Dodgson and the Salesians, when they sent him to do the job they should have been doing. 

Dear Mr Wilmer,

Further to your email I have looked into the issues you have raised. It has been concluded that they do not fall under the Social Care Complaints and Representations procedure but are a request for information under the Data Protection Act 1998.

Mr Bob Dodgson has now retired from the Local Authority, but he has been contacted as a result of your enquiry and he confirmed that at the time of the initial contact from the police he telephoned the Salesian Provincial Office and followed this up with a visit; he met with Fathers Bailey and Winstanley as you are aware, to determine whether Father George Williams presented a current risk in the community at the time.

The Local Authority was aware at the time that Mr Dodgson had some links with Thornleigh Salesian College.  The police were unaware of the links between Mr Dodgson and the College when requesting him to make contact and discuss the situation.

The police have been asked to visit the Salesian Provincial Office to reassure yourself and the Local Authority that any current risk is assessed.

I hope this answers the questions you have raised with us.

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