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.
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.
In other records, there are references to this Brother that are suggestive of improper conduct on his part, but nothing that was clear and unequivocal or that could be understood without knowing the evidence of Br Alfonso and Fr Giovani.
Concerns about this Brother are expressed in correspondence from the mid-1930s to the mid-1950s. It seems clear that there was grave suspicion about his conduct. The evidence of Br Alfonso and Fr Giovani put the position beyond doubt, and reveals the full meaning of the earlier written statements. The failure to express these concerns clearly indicated a degree of concern on the part of the authorities that no information should escape on this issue, as it was seen to be potentially damaging. Such secrecy resulted in the serious consequence that there was reduced consciousness about the problem. The interest of the Order in avoiding adverse publicity was given priority over the protection of the boys. Transferring the Brother to Ferryhouse was another example of a reckless approach to child protection. The Rome file: Br Mateo40
Although he was not called to give evidence, the Committee were able to consider a statement made by Fr Giovani, who was Prefect in Upton during the mid-1950s.
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.