AP NEWS

Australian man says he was raped by same Christian Brother in Norwich Diocese suit

April 13, 2019

Note: the Apollo moon landing actually occured July 21 in Australia due to the 16-hour time difference.

An Australian man says that in 1969, he was raped at a school there by Christian Brother K. Paul McGlade, the same man who is accused by 24 young men of sexually assaulting them as teenage boys at the former Mount Saint John Academy in Deep River in the 1990s.

The two dozen men have sued the Diocese of Norwich and former Bishop Daniel P. Reilly, and their cases are pending in New London Superior Court.

David McFadden, 61, of Warrnambool, which is about 155 miles southwest of Melbourne, has sued Catholic officials there and has provided The Day with a May 1989 agenda from the Provincial Council of the Christian Brothers in St. Patrick’s Province that states it has decided to approve McGlade “taking up the Norwich offer” with several conditions.

These included that Norwich pay all expenses and that McGlade, an Australian who died in 2013, obtain “spiritual direction and counseling to deal with discernment agendas in hope that Paul will grow beyond current province image as a person of self pity and scape goating.”

McGlade and a second Christian Brother who are now being accused of molesting youths in Australia were sent to Connecticut, where they also are  being accused of molestation.

“In 1989 they knew they had a problem and they kicked him to the other side of the world,” McFadden said.

In 1990, McGlade began working at Mount Saint John, whose board of directors was headed by Reilly. He was the school’s executive director and a teacher. The alleged victims, now in their 30s, allege they were fondled, sodomized and raped by McGlade and others at the school. Some of the young men are represented by New London attorney Kelly Reardon.

McFadden contacted The Day after he read about the allegations against McGlade at Mount Saint John.

“If I can do anything to help these guys, I would be more than happy to. They put a fox in charge of the henhouse,” he said in a lengthy phone interview. “It’s a bloody disgrace.”

In a separate interview, McFadden’s attorney Jason Moody of Sydney confirmed that his client has filed a lawsuit against Christian Brothers. He said he is looking to negotiate a settlement for McFadden.

Broken Rites Australia, a organization that supports victims of Catholic clergy abuse and researches and publishes their allegations, told The Day that they also have received a report from a now 58-year-old man who alleges that as a fourth- and fifth-grader, he was repeatedly sexually abused by McGlade from 1971 to 1972 at a school in Tasmania.

Broken Rites also said that Brother Paschal Alford, who also is accused of molesting boys at Mount Saint John in two of the suits against the Norwich Diocese, is accused of sexually assaulting several boys at the St. Augustine orphanage in Geelong in the 1970s. Two of them have taken out-of-court civil action against the Christian Brothers and received settlements.

Broken Rites said Alford worked at Mount Saint John for 10 years beginning in 1993. He died in 2004.

It is unknown if the Diocese of Norwich and Reilly knew that McGlade allegedly had abused children in Australia and that Christian Brothers there had concerns about him when they made him the offer to come to Mount Saint John. McFadden and the other man who say they were abused by McGlade did not reveal what occurred until 2014 and 2001, respectively.

Moody said he has not come across any other mention of Norwich’s interest in McGlade as he prepares for McFadden’s case but said his firm’s work still is in the early stages.

In response to a request from The Day requesting information about Reilly’s location, Ray Delisle, the spokesman for the Diocese of Worcester, where Reilly now is thought to be living, said, “Bishop Reilly is 91 and in no shape to be trying to recall these situations clearly.” He recommended The Day speak with the Diocese of Norwich.

The Diocese of Norwich did not respond to an email asking about the offer it made to McGlade to come to Connecticut. It is also unknown if the diocese alerted the Christian Brothers order and Catholic officials in Australia about McGlade’s alleged actions at Mount Saint John before he returned to Australia in 2002. It also is unclear why the diocese made offers to come to Deep River to McGlade and Alford, who appear to have lived almost all of their previous lives in Australia.

McFadden’s story

McFadden said that he was a fifth-grader at the Christian Brothers school in Warrnambool when on June 11, 1969, as he was cleaning paintbrushes, he heard a booming voice behind him accuse him of flicking paint around the room.

“I want to see you in my room before football tomorrow,” McGlade said to him.

“I was expecting to be disciplined,” McFadden recalled, saying the 6-foot-tall McGlade ruled the school by fear.

After the other students left for the football field, McGlade ordered McFadden to write “I must do as I am told” 50 times on a piece of paper.

“Halfway through, he called me to the front desk. He bent me over, pulled down my pants and underwear,” McFadden said, adding McGlade then raped him.

Afterwards, he said McGlade handed him a towel to wipe himself up. McFadden said he bled for the next week.

McFadden was too scared to tell his parents.

“I was my Dad’s blue-eyed boy. If he had known what McGlade had done, Dad would have spent 25 years in jail for murder. It’s the reason I kept quiet and didn’t mention it to a living soul for 43 years. That takes its toll,” he said.

Two weeks later, on June 26, 1969, McFadden said another student told him McGlade wanted to see him. Like the first time, McGlade instructed McFadden to begin writing and then bent him over the desk. Something caused McGlade to turn around and at that point McFadden said he grabbed a metric ruler and hit McGlade on the back of his neck and head. He pulled up his pants and ran out of the room.

McFadden said he then “ran like hell” into the nearby botanical gardens, as he was not sure if McGlade was chasing him. McFadden rushed into the bathroom, entered the first stall, bolted the door and pushed up against it, in case McGlade tried to force his way in.

There he sat, in the dark, for four hours. He then went back to school, got his bike and rode home, never saying anything.

It was at this point that the 10-year-old McFadden began carrying a Boy Scout knife with the intent of stabbing McGlade and “taking the consequences” if McGlade tried to rape him again.

On July 21, 1969, McFadden said he and his class were watching the historic Apollo 11 moon landing on television when he needed to go to the bathroom. As he was returning to his classroom, he said McGlade came up from behind him in the hallway, grabbed his arm and forced him down a flight of stairs. McFadden said he then stepped on one of McGlade’s feet “with all my might.”

McGlade let go of his arm and he went back to class.

For his next 18 months at the school, he continued to carry a knife but McGlade never bothered him again.

“I was put in another class. I was never so happy in my life,” he said.

In 2012, after seeing more and more stories about clergy abuse in his local newspaper, McFadden said he broke down and told his wife about the abuse.

He also told one of his former teachers at the school. She recalled sending students to be disciplined and they returned crying uncontrollably.

Still haunted by alleged abuse 

McFadden said that while he is married with a family, and has a good job and success as a bike racer, the attacks by McGlade still haunt him.

“I’m still having nightmares 50 years on. Once a week I wake up in a cold sweat. I’m that kid in the dark cubicle hiding from that bloody bastard,” he said.

He recalled driving home at night with his family through the dark countryside after winning the state 1,000-meter track cycling championship in 1975.

“Everything was black and for some reason I felt like I was back in that cubicle. I should have been celebrating the biggest race of my life with my brother and parents,” he said.

A few years later, while celebrating an Australian Rules football title with his team in a locker room, he was leaving the shower when one of his teammates slapped him on the buttocks, telling him “Well done mate!”

“Suddenly, I was back there bloody and bent over that desk,” he recalled.

And when a trotter horse he owns won a big race, he was driving to a party to celebrate when he passed the school and the botanical gardens bathroom.

“And I’m bloody back there again,” he said.

McFadden said that while he has not struggled with drug or alcohol abuse, as do many victims of clergy abuse, he has battled depression.

In the statement McFadden has prepared for his mediation hearing, he wrote, “I have stood on the edge of the abyss a number of times ... and I could easily have become another statistic of the clergy abuse ‘suicide toll.’”

“I know I will never get this monster out of my head but I need the Catholic Church and in particular the Christian Brothers to issue an apology and compensate me for what I have been forced to endure for half a century,” he added.

McGlade before and after Mount Saint John

According to McGlade’s obituary, he began teaching third grade in a Catholic school in Melbourne abut 1957 and went on to teach or work as an administrator at six other schools. It states he studied in the United States for three years in the 1980s. He taught piano and singing and enjoyed Australian rules football.

The obituary states that in 1990, McGlade moved to Deep River and stayed at Mount Saint John for 13 years until October 2002.

“I was horrified to learn that McGlade was shunted around Australia and eventually to the United States where in the 1990s he was still sexually assaulting young boys while executive director of the Academy of Mount Saint John in Deep River Connecticut,” McFadden wrote in the statement for his mediation hearing.

But McGlade’s obituary states, “Paul was most successful in his relationships with all involved in the institution — boys, staff and the Board. During this time, Paul continued faithfully living his religious life in the Xaverian Brothers community.”

After returning to Australia, he worked as a community leader in Melbourne, caring for aging Christian Brothers. In 2011, he became the assistant to the Apostolic Nuncio in Canberra. But he left for treatment of an aggressive form of cancer and died in 2013. He was 75.

Christian Brother Chris Meehl wrote in the obituary that McGlade “was full of life and had a positive attitude towards his illness. He was always positive and in constant search of his God. He was continually looking for ways in which he could deepen his relationship with his God.”

j.wojtas@theday.com