Br Constantin was sent to Upton in the early 1950s, where he remained until he was transferred to Kilmurry. He was transferred in November, not at the more usual time of September, because he had been discovered sexually abusing children. The Brother subsequently applied for a dispensation from his vows two years later and, when it was granted, he left Kilmurry.
The correspondence between his superiors concerning his application for a dispensation provides some information about his sexual activities. In a letter to the Superior General concerning the matter, the Provincial, Fr Placido, stated: I enclose the request of Br Constantin for a dispensation from his final vows ... He was ... here at Upton ... when he asked for a transfer to Kilmurry as his contacts cum pueris hic erat ei periculum [with boys, this was his danger]. He was getting out from here as he was really under suspicion and investigations were being made regarding some serious matters. I regret to say that he was most seriously involved in the case of at least two.
The Provincial asked the Rector of Kilmurry, Fr Salvatore, to write to the Superior General, setting out his views on the matter. In a letter, Fr Salvatore wrote: Br Constantin’s case is a sad one. He came here [Kilmurry] over a year ago from Upton. Fr Provincial will, no doubt, have informed you that this Brother had great difficulty in observing his vow of chastity. His Rector at Upton was forced to send him away from that house because he had proof that, in two cases at least, he had sinned with boys. The fact that he is still a religious is due to the charity of his Superiors because, generally, in these kinds of cases the rule is to send the accused person away. I must say, Father, that Constantin himself did ask his Superiors to take him away from the occasion [in the sense of the occasion of temptation]. Sending him here was seen as saving his vocation but it is not like that.
The letter from Rome to Fr Placido informed him that the dispensation sought from the Order of Religious had come through. The letter went on to say that the dispensation itself was retained in the Rosminian archive in Rome. Br Constantin was, therefore, free ‘to return to the world without further delay ...’.
Former Br Constantin reappeared in the early 1960s at Mount Melleray Seminary, Cappoquin, County Waterford, as appears from a letter to the Provincial: Dear Father Provincial, We had a student here last year named Constantin who spent some time in your Congregation. It was only quite recently that information of that fact reached me. He was admitted here on the recommendation of a priest in England and I would never be satisfied to keep him without a reference from his former Superior had I known he was in religion. I am writing now to you for a reference for him as I am expecting him back soon and he will get a bit of my mind for not telling me he was with you. He is very quiet and well conducted as a student but that would not be enough to get him into a major seminary later on. With every good wish, I am, dear Fr Provincial, Yours sincerely in DIE President
Further light on this episode emerged from the evidence of Br Alfonso, who described how one of the boys complained to him about Br Constantin’s activities, which he immediately reported to the Rector and the Provincial.
An Assistant Prefect at the time, Fr Giovani,37 in a statement supplied to the Committee confirmed the discovery of abuse by this Brother and another: Later on we were both scandalised and shocked and distressed to find that two lay brothers, ... were also sexually molesting the boys in their care. Immediately Br Alfonso and myself reported this to the then Provincial of the Institute of Charity, Fr Orsino, I.C., who removed the offending Brothers: one brother later died in the institute, Bro Fausto,38 the other, Bro Constantin, left the Rosminians and I haven’t heard of him since.
Another Rosminian, Br Tomasso, who was lodging in the School at the time, responded to a Rosminian questionnaire as follows: As a student ... residing in Upton [during the 1950s] I made enquiries about Bro Constantin – when he had been absent for some time – and was told by Fr Gian that he had been interfering with boys, and had left the Order.
This Brother was discovered to be sexually abusing boys in the 1950s. Br Alfonso said that he discovered that Br Fausto had been sexually abusing children at the same time that he found out about Br Constantin. Fr Giovani corroborated the discovery of Br Fausto in his statement. A complainant, resident in the early 1950s, gave evidence that his brother, while being punished by Br Alfonso, complained to him that he was being abused by a Brother whose name the witness did not recall correctly, but by a similar-sounding name: When he started laying into him with the strap my brother turned around and said that he was abused by a Brother called [similar sounding name to perpetrator] ... Br Alfonso stopped dead in his tracks, put the strap back in the thing and he couldn’t apologise enough. [The Brother] was removed from the school shortly thereafter ... No, I did not witness that. My brother mentioned it to me a couple of years ago, three or four years ago.
Br Alfonso said that, when he was Prefect, he was responsible for identifying to his Superiors seven sexual abusers operating in Upton. He confirmed they were as follows: Br Fausto; Br Constantin; A named night watchman; An unnamed lay teacher; Br Mateo; Br Mario, Br Gilberto.
Fr Giovani stated that one of the most distressing memories he had of Upton was when he and Br Alfonso discovered that one of the primary teachers had been sexually abusing the boys. He stated that Br Alfonso immediately reported the matter to the Resident Manager, and the teacher was dismissed. He also stated that he and Br Alfonso discovered two members of the Community, Brs Fausto and Constantin, engaged in similar activities. Again, Br Alfonso reported the matter to the Resident Manager, and the offenders were removed from the School.
Br Tomasso said that, as a student residing in Upton in the 1950s, he had been told that Br Constantin had been removed for interfering with the boys. He had also heard that Br Fausto was engaged in similar activities. Fr Stefano said that he had heard from Br Romano52 that Mr Vance had been interfering with the boys.