From the Daily Caller:
Where Is The Priest Who Sexually Abused Milo Yiannopoulos?
Lost in the crushing sound of Milo Yiannopoulos’ fall has been the revelation that he was sexually abused by a priest named “Fr. Michael.”
…Milo was raised Catholic and is open about his love for the Catholic Church. In Kent, England where Milo grew up, a Catholic priest named Monsignor Michael Smith was arrested in 2010 after sexual abuse allegations were made against him by victim who called Smith a “devious predator.” According to KentLive, a publication in Kent, the victim received compensation from the Catholic Church in a civil suit in 2016.
Kent Live is the web version of the Kent and Sussex Courier, and it’s something of a novelty to see a big-time conservative US website delve into the world of British regional newspapers.
Perhaps we should be grateful that the Daily Caller author has settled on a priest who is deceased and who was already under a cloud of suspicion for a similar crime when he died in 2011. But the deduction remains highly speculative, and it tends towards encouraging reckless identifications of individuals as having committed crimes.
There are probably many “Fr Michaels” who were based in the Catholic Diocese of Southwark (a more useful geographical unit here than “Kent”) in the late 1990s to early 2000s, and all of them (whether alive or dead) are now at risk of being pursued by paedo-hunters thanks to Yiannopoulos’s semi-disclosure about alleged incidents that he has not apparently ever reported to the police. Fr Michael Smith was based in Tonbridge from the early 1990s until his death – this location is more than 20 miles from Chatham, where Yiannopoulos grew up, and nearly 45 miles from Canterbury, where he went to school. There are also other large towns in the vicinity, in particular Ashford and Maidstone.
There should also be some caution about taking Yiannopoulos’s story at face value. Focus on his provocateur antics has overshadowed the fact that he has a dubious relationship with the truth, and it does seem remarkable that someone who enjoys causing outrage just happens to have a stock of outrageous anecdotes from his youth – one of which is a stereotypical story about priestly abuse.
In fact, it’s not clear to what extent Yiannopoulos can truly lay claim to a Catholic upbringing, although it was a useful identity for his first journalism job, which was at the Catholic Herald. Yiannopoulos was raised by a part-Greek father, and Greek Roman Catholics are a tiny minority; and he went to Simon Langton school in Canterbury rather than a Roman Catholic school. Perhaps the chance of a place at a grammar school won out over a Catholic comprehensive (1), but it does lead one to wonder how it was exactly that he came to form an association with a Catholic priest. But in the current climate, perhaps it’s better not to encourage further speculation.
1. Note for non-Brits: grammar schools are state schools that select pupils by ability following an entrance exam, while comprehensives accept any pupil within a particular geographical area. Most grammar schools became comprehensives in the 1960s and 1970s, but the older system remains partially in place in some parts of the country.
Filed under: Uncategorized