BOSTON (CBS) – The pain of the sexual abuse that Mark Powell says he suffered while studying at a religious order in Iowa 41 years ago, deepened after learning his abuser later became a Catholic priest.
“Even when I was being abused I was praying the Hail Mary, I’d be praying the Our Father that it would stop,” he told the I-Team.
Powell says the man who abused him in 1977 is now a priest at the Glastonbury Abbey in Hingham and is called Father Andrew. But Powell says in Iowa he was Brother Mark.
Powell says the abuse started just weeks after as he joined the religious order as a naïve teenager. “It’s not only a sin it’s a shame. I was a minor at the time,” he told the I-Team. “I was in the television room and Father Andrew as he’s now known assaulted me that evening and throughout the time I was with the brothers.”
The I-Team learned that Brother Mark became a Catholic priest in 1990 and changed his name to Father Andrew.
In 2001 the Davenport Iowa Diocese put Brother Mark’s name on its list of clergy credibly accused of sexual abuse. But, it never added his new name- until the I-Team got involved. Just last week, the Diocese updated its list to include Father Andrew Quillen’s name.
The Hingham Abbey, where Father Andrew is assigned, says it became aware of the allegations against him in 2003. The head of the Abbey, Father Thomas O’Connor told the I-Team, “There was an investigation and we found it was a credible accusation.”
“[Father Andrew] went away for treatment and he was put on a safety plan. As of today, he’s still on the safety plan and he’s no longer able to say mass or perform any of the sacraments,” O’Connor said.
But Father Andrew remains a Catholic Priest. He teaches classes and sets up for Mass at the Abbey. Powell says, “I don’t see any consequences I don’t see any accountability, this is very frustrating for those of us who are survivors.”
According to Father Andrew, no new accusers have come forward, and the other monks and the congregation know Father Andrew is on the list of those credibly accused of abuse. “It’s kind of like a family. It’s my responsibility to love Andrew even though I don’t love his behavior that behavior that he did he did to that individual,” he said.
Powell eventually left the Catholic Church, but still chose a life of God. He married and became a Lutheran pastor in Indiana. He now ministers to hospice patients. He told the I-Team the pain of the abuse will never go away. “For the survivors who have been walking in the same shoes that I have been walking in. God loves you very much it wasn’t anything of God that caused this abuse. It was evil men doing evil things,” Powell said.
The Archdiocese of Boston says Father Andrew was stripped of his ability to function as a parish priest years ago and, tells the I-Team it has also called on the Abbey to remove Father Andrew from all ministry in Glastonbury.
Full Statement From The Archdiocese Of Boston
Fr. Andrew Quinlan, a Benedictine priest residing at the Glastonbury Abbey, had his faculties to perform public ministry removed in the Archdiocese of Boston when the Archdiocese became aware of an allegation of sexual abuse of a minor in the Diocese of Davenport, Iowa from the 1970’s.
As a Benedictine, authority over Fr. Quinlan rests with his religious order, specifically with the Abbot of the Monastery and beyond that the President of the Swiss-American Benedictine Congregation. The Archdiocese has prevented him from having any public ministry. He is not allowed to function as a priest at any parish, school or other public setting within the Archdiocese. He is not allowed to present himself as a priest publicly. His status as a religious order priest provides for his Congregation to allow him to celebrate Mass in private within the confines of the Abbey.
The Archdiocese of Boston has advised the Abbey and Benedictine Order in the past that it should remove Fr. Quinlan from all ministry in Glastonbury and to make the public aware of his presence there and his status. We again call on the Abbey to take such action.
About the Archdiocese of Boston’s Child Protection Efforts
Since his installation, Cardinal Seán has made it a priority to create safe environments in the Archdiocese’s churches and schools and to continue to support all people impacted by clergy sexual abuse. The policies and practices of the Archdiocese include working with law enforcement agencies and community professionals to report and investigate instances of sexual abuse, annually screening approximately 50,000 clergy, employees and volunteers, and implementing effective prevention training programs. In addition, through the Office of Pastoral Support and Outreach (OPSO), the Archdiocese continues to reach out to those who have been harmed by the tragic reality of clergy sexual abuse in order to provide pastoral help and counseling services to survivors and their families. Cardinal Seán encourages any person in need of pastoral assistance or support to contact the Archdiocese’s Office of Pastoral Support and Outreach by calling 617-746-5985.