Regarding Rev. Becket Sunchur

Bishop Coleman, enclosed is an affidavit made by Bradley J. Kraus in a private capacity positively identifying Fr. Becket G. Senchur, OSB, a monk and priest of the Archabbey of St Vincent, Latrobe, Pennsylvania taken at a gay festival celebrating leather fetishism in West Village, New York City with the photograph being viewable the Village Voice website. Said photograph does not contain any nudity, but is profoundly distasteful. – James Carr


Letter to Bishop George W. Coleman
The Diocese of Fall River, Massachusetts
April 12, 2012

Bishop Coleman,

With deep regret, the author e-mails to apprise you of matters outlined hereinafter. Animated by solicitous concern for the Diocese of Fall River; what will follow with be of real concern and legitimate interest to every Bishop within the USCCB. For this reason, the author has harvested the contact e-mail address for each Bishop of the USCCB from the 2012 edition of the Annuario Pontificio. Given the seriousness of the matters at hand, this e-mail will be also copied to H.E. João Cardinal Bráz de Aviz, Cardinal Prefect, and the Secretary of the Dicastery for Religious, H.E. Archbishop Tobin C.Ss.R.

In composing this e-mail, the author is mindful of the following:

§  News articles have been critical of the Diocese of Fall River;

§  since 1953 thirty-two (32) priests from the Fall River Diocese have been accused of sexual misconduct with 216 claims settled at a cost of just over $16 million; [1]

§  some parishioners continue to be critical of some of the policies in place, and have protested by means of a picket.[2]

Bishop Coleman, enclosed is an affidavit [ View as PDF ] made by Bradley J. Kraus in a private capacity positively identifying Fr. Becket G. Senchur, OSB, a monk and priest of the Archabbey of St Vincent, Latrobe, Pennsylvania taken at a gay festival celebrating leather fetishism in West Village, New York City with the photograph being viewable the Village Voice website. Said photograph does not contain any nudity, but is profoundly distasteful, and is available at this URL:

Mr. Kraus is the District Attorney of Elk County, located within the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Currently, Fr. Senchur, is the Director of Liturgy & Music Ministries at Our Lady of the Cape Parish, Brewster, a parish within your Diocese, as the parish bulletin for the Easter Week attests to:,%202012.pdf

Attached is a page from the 2011 Ordo of the American Cassinese Benedictine Congregation. Entry 51: Becket (Gerald) Senchur born Cleveland, Ohio, 17 December 1946, professed as a monk of the Archabbey of St Vincent on 11 July 1968, ordained to the priesthood on 12 May 1973.

Both residential address listings for Becket G. Senchur, identify him by his civil name; and clearly show his date of birth to be: 17 December 1946.

One listing shows, he owns a property; purchased in 1994, with a mortgage of $91,000 registered to the property in 1996, with the mortgage discharged during the year  of 2001. During this time Fr Senchur was listed in the American Cassinese Benedictine Ordo; thus, these actions are a direct contravention of his vow of poverty as a Benedictine monk. Today his property is now valued at over half a million dollars.

One can only assume that Fr. Senchur received the requisite funds from Archabbot Nowicki and/or from the resources of St Vincent Archabbey to discharge the mortgage so quickly, as he was in monastic vows at the time.

Also attached are two photographs of Becket G. Senchur taken from the following forum.

A number of people have independently confirmed the identity of Becket G. Senchur from these photographs to the author; so it’s asserted with moral certitude that the male within these photographs is: Fr. Becket G. Senchur OSB, monk and priest of the Archabbey of St Vincent.

Fr. Senchur has been absent from the Archabbey of St Vincent for a significant number of years, in contravention of the provisions of the 1983 Code of Canon Law, and the Constitutions of the American Cassinese Congregation, with the explicit approval of Archabbot Douglas Nowicki, the current Archabbot of St Vincent.

During the 2008 visitation conducted by the now deceased Abbot Timothy Kelly OSB the following items were raised:

a) the extended absence of Fr. Senchur;

b) the probity of his behaviour as a result of this photograph appearing in the Village Voice.

Abbot Kelly is currently being posthumously sued for allegations concerning sexual misconduct by him with minors during his time as a priest in New York. Abbot Kelly was previously Abbot of St John’s Abbey in Collegeville, before being elected Abbot President of the American Cassinese Benedictine Congregation. Nevertheless, Fr. Becket G. Senchur still remained a monk of St. Vincent, appearing  in the American Cassinese Ordo. This is indicative of a systemic failure of leadership within said Congregation, and a callous disregard for the norms of Canon Law.

Becket G. Senchur does not appear in the 2012 edition of the Ordo. Nonetheless, it would be prudent for the Diocese of Fall River to request a copy of the Decree dispensing Fr. Becket G. Senchur OSB from the obligations of Religious Life and the Priesthood, should the Diocese consider permitting him to continue his current ministry from the competent Dicastery.

Bishop Coleman, one of the reasons that the author is apprising you about these matters: the American Cassinese Congregation, or more particularly those tasked with the governance of said Congregation have an extremely nasty habit of not informing the local Ordinary, about issues concerning recidivist monks/priests.

A very recent example will be instructive. Bishop Francis DiLorenzo of the Diocese of Richmond, will be happy to provide you with further information with respect to Fr. Luke Travers, OSB, a monk and priest of Saint Mary’s Abbey Delbarton, a constituent house of the American Cassinese Benedictine Congregation. In fact, in addition to what is contained within these newspaper articles, based on information not in the public domain, this author would even go further, and suggest that the leadership of the American Cassinese Congregation deliberately misled the local Bishop about Fr. Luke Travers OSB. This asserted for the following reasons:

§  Abbot Timothy Kelly placed Fr. Luke Travers in Richmond, Virginia;

§  Abbot Giles Hayes, was aware of Luke Travers’ history of misconduct;

§  The current Abbot President of the American Cassinese Publication was aware of allegations made against Fr. Luke Travers.

§  Abbot Giles Hayes resigned from CMSM after his cover-ups were made public:

Indeed, Patrick Marker is to be commended highly for his diligence in bringing these unwelcome matters to the attention of the local Bishop; along with his efforts over the past twenty years highlighting the sexual misconduct that has taken place at St John’s Abbey in Collegeville.

Thus, it would seem prudent for every Ordinary within each Diocese of the American Church to refuse to accept any priest from this Congregation for future parish ministry, until the significant issues surrounding the governance of the American Cassinese Congregation have been addressed and remedied by means of an Apostolic Visitation.

Furthermore, it is suggested that no monk from said Congregation should be elevated to the episcopate. Within the United States of America, there is a tradition of making monks: bishops, which is the reason I am copying this e-mail to the Papal Nuncio in Washington; so as to prevent further scandal within the American Church.

Br. William D. Benthall OSB

Bishop Coleman, the matters, highlighted with respect to Fr. Becket G. Senchur are not a one-off occurrence. Please find enclosed information pertaining to the above named monk. As you will be able to discern from the 2012 Ordo atEntry 118, Br. William is still listed as a member of the conventional chapter at St Vincent Archabbey; that he was born in Norfolk Virginia on 16 November 1966; made his first professional vows on 10 July 1996. The enclosed link from the Archabbey website, makes reference to his solemn monastic profession:

From his address listing, publicly available, you will be able to discern that Br. Benthall is now living in Pittsburgh. The local Ordinary, Bishop Zubic will be able to attest, whether, he has received written notification from Archabbot Nowicki that a member of the conventional chapter of St Vincent Archabbey is resident within his canonical territory. More importantly Archabbot Nowicki will be able to confirm whether Br. Benthall has been granted a dispensation by the Dicastery for Religious to live outside his monastery for a lawful reason given his postings on a Catholic Fourm, so many years ago.

Lest there be any doubt, the postal address for St Vincent Archabbey is: 300 Fraser Purchase Road, PA 15650.

We can only assume Br. Benthall has been in receipt of a monthly stipend from the Archabbey, along with having his health insurance premiums paid for by St Vincent Archabbey, since he left the monastery many years ago, as selling penitential hairshirts is unlikely to generate sufficient income even to provide the most basic necessities. All of which begets the question why does Archabbot Nowicki permit this kind of conduct.

Both the Facebook page of Br. Benthall, and these links will confirm that we are dealing with a solemnly professed monk of St Vincent Archabbey, who is doing what he likes with impunity with the tacit approval and consent of Archabbot Douglas Nowicki.

Why does this matter?

Bishop Coleman, regrettably, Fr. Becket G. Senchur was in a position of significant influence at St Vincent Archabbey, when resident there. Fr. Becket G. Senchur was a member of the Archabbot’s Council, and  complicit with the cover-up of sexual misconduct at St Vincent Archabbey. Furthermore, significant questions concern the relationship between Fr. Becket G. Senchur with two former priests of St Vincent Archabbey: [redacted] and Fr. Mark Peters

In the late 1970s/early 1980s, there was a program called New Directions, which aimed to provide young boys from the deprived/disadvantaged backgrounds with a scholarship to study at St Vincent College. Sadly, a number of these young boys were subjected to sexual molestation, whilst students at St. Vincent. When these young boys brought this to the attention of the competent authorities at St Vincent, they were ignored and treated with malevolent contempt.

An anonymous letter was sent to the Board of Directors of St Vincent College, the Diocese of Greensburg, and the Archdiocese of Philadelphia outlining the sexual misconduct, which resulted in the NAMED perpetrator immediately being banished from St Vincent Archabbey. A copy of the letter is in the possession of an attorney.  A search of the archives of the above named dioceses will reveal the existence of said letter.

To this day NO ATTEMPT has been made by the competent authorities at St Vincent Archabbey/College/Seminary to make contact with these victims of sexual misconduct, who were recruited in high school, which legally makes them ‘minors’, for the purposes of a criminal prosecution sexual misconduct in a court of law. This is truly scandalous despite the fact that a full list of the names of these young men, being in the possession of the admissions office of St Vincent College in the past.

One of these young men, is currently contemplating bringing a lawsuit against St Vincent Archabbey, or more particularly all the various entities that are registered/incorporated at 300 Fraser Purchase Road; all the individuals who held positions of responsibility at the Archabbey/College/Seminary at that particular time; along with those who exercise or hold office in these positions currently. Within the next eight weeks, the current Board of Directors of St Vincent College will receive letters posted to their residential addresses; so this is a matter that WILL escalate. The gentleman is also contemplating involving the District Attorney of Westmoreland County, Mr. John W. Peck, where St Vincent Archabbey is located, so invariably criminal charges will follow.

Bishop Coleman, respectfully the Diocese of Fall River has been significantly negligent in permitting Becket G. Senchur to function as the Director of Liturgy & Music Ministries at Our Lady of the Cape Parish, Brewster. Even the most basic search would have revealed his previous existence at St Vincent Archabbey, it took the author no time to establish and obtain the supporting enclosed information.

Thus, this information potentially opens the Diocese to a lawsuit for negligence; along with the possibility of further allegations being levelled against the Diocese, when it comes into the public domain what has been permitted to occur at St Vincent Archabbey. This kind of behaviour has already been seen within the Archdiocese of Boston, with the publication of a list of perpetrators by Cardinal O’Malley.

It is respectfully suggested that similar “Boston” behaviour could/will be manifested within the Diocese; if it becomes known that Becket G. Senchur with his particular, and now documented proclivities evidenced by the photograph was active in ministry, with the Diocese of Fall River being negligent.

Research produced by Masters & Johnson, well known and widely accepted within academia suggests: people with the proclivity manifested by Becket G. Senchur, have at a minimum a 15% likelihood of committing sexual molestation to a maximum range of 30%.

Invariably, any music ministry within a Parish will involve children; so potentially the Diocese has an explosive problem. Combine this with the culture of collusion and cover-up that would seem to be all pervasive within the American Cassinese Congregation, then the Diocese the Fall River has a real problem. Just contemplate the research of Masters & Johnson being submitted to a court as supporting evidence in a law suit over an allegation of sexual misconduct, given the very public problems that the Diocese of Fall River has experienced in the past.

Fr. Becket G. Senchur IS NOT ACCUSED of any sexual misconduct, merely we are highlighting some of the very real issues surrounding him, which were well known at the monastery of his monastic profession, along with how these matters could play out potentially in a court of law.

Therefore, it would be prudent for the Diocese to locate and establish if there is a contractual relationship between the local parish and/or the Diocese with Becket G. Senchur; whether a criminal record check took place, when he was appointed, who were his referees. In light of the decision of prosecutors to charge Bishop Finn and the Kansas City-St. Joseph Diocese with criminal misdemeanors. Combine this with the current criminal trial in Philadelphia, theDiocese of Fall River may wish to involve the police immediately. In effect, it is being suggested that the Diocese deal with this matter urgently.

Bishop Coleman, not for a moment is it being suggested nor should any reader infer that you in any way are personally negligent or culpable for this matter. In fact, other parties have been complicit in deliberately and wilfully in not informing you, keeping you in ignorance. Nevertheless,  as you are all too well aware, that is not how the legal system in the United States would view these matters.

Additionally given the extremely close relationship between Cardinal Wuerl and St Vincent Archabbey, by virtue of Cardinal Wuerl being a member of the St. Vincent Seminary Board of Regents for the past 24 years, we now have the possibility of the Archbishop of Washington, becoming a party to this litigation, along with a number of other bishops.

Bishop Coleman, it will be instructive for you and for each Bishop to have a brief overview of some of the issues currently surrounding some monasteries within the American Cassinese Congregation. These are only a tiny fragment of some of the very real scandals in the public domain, with a lot worse to come:

§  The very public sexual misconduct of the previous Archbishop of Milwaukee, Rembert Weakland OSB, previously Archabbot of St Vincent;

§  The allegations of sexual misconduct levelled against Archabbot Douglas Nowicki, currently Archabbot of St Vincent Archabbey in Latrobe pertaining to the sexual harassment of a junior monk in vows, which have been denounced to the Dicastery for Religious for investigation;

§  The public acknowledgement that eighteen members of the monastic community of St John’s Abbey, Collegeville have culpability with respect to credible allegations of sexual misconduct in a letter to be found on the Abbey website, signed by the Abbot, John Klassen.’s%20community%20(04-12-11)%20(executed).pdf

§  The former Abbot President of the American Cassinese Congregation, Abbot John Eidenschink admitting his culpability for sexual misconduct before his death; with significant and credible allegations asserted against another Abbot President of said Congregation, Abbot Timothy Kelly;

§  The teaching of polygenism at the seminary at St Vincent Archabbey;

§  The sexual misconduct on a number of monks at Saint Mary’s Abbey in Delbarton, and the complicity/collusion in the cover-up by the current Abbot in contravention of the norms promulgated by the USCCB, which have the force of law by virtue of the Recognitio granted by the Apostolic See.

Bishop Coleman, please be assured that the author has no intention of making these matters public, but it’s only a matter of time before they do come into the public domain; so I would advise you to act in an expeditious manner to limit your own personal liability, and the liability of Fall River Diocese.

It is regrettable to have to bring these matters to your attention so soon after Easter. Should you or any other Bishop have any questions about what is contained herein above, the author will respond. All correspondence will remain confidential and privileged.

Sincerely in Christ,

James Carr