Published on Aug 12, 2013
BBC Scotland Broadcast 29 July 2013
FORT Augustus Abbey school in the Highlands was once Scotland’s most prestigious Catholic boarding school, based on the banks of Loch Ness and run by an order of Benedictine monks.
However, evidence has emerged that over a 30-year period pupils were victims of serious physical and sexual abuse including rape.
An investigation by BBC Scotland alleged that two headmasters, Francis Davidson and Augustine Grene, covered up abuse by monks.
Father Aidan Duggan, an Australian monk who taught at Carlkemp, a preparatory school in East Lothian and Fort Augustus was said by five former pupils to have raped and sexually abused them between 1953 and 1974.
One former pupil told his parents that he had been raped only to be called into the headmaster’s office and told that lying was a mortal sin, it was reported. Duggan returned to Australia in 1974 and became a parish priest in Sydney. However, no warnings were made by the Benedictines and he allegedly continued to abuse. He died in 2004.
A second Benedictine monk, Father “Chrysostom” Alexander, allegedly repeatedly sexually abused a pupil at Fort Augustus.
He told his parents who complained to the school and as a result Fr Alexander was sent back to Australia, again with no warnings about his behaviour.
Fr Alexander, who is now 77, is the subject of an investigation by Police Scotland.
The revelations, made in a recent BBC documentary, The Sins of Our Fathers, contained evidence against nine Fort Augustus monks. When confronted Fr Alexander refused to answer questions but the Catholic Church in Sydney has since stripped him of his priestly faculties pending an investigation.