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What Is It About the American College of Louvain?

Addendum, January 2006: On November 18, 2005, the Vatican dismissed Father Michael Nash from the priesthood for sexual abuse of teenage boys.

As you must realize by now, we’ve developed a kind of connoisseur’s interest in the American College of Louvain (ACBpseminary in Belgium. Our interest started when Crisis magazine chose to defend the liberal ACL from Michael S. Rose’s five-page critique of the ACL in his book Goodbye, Good Men. In that five-page section, Rose told the story of Joseph Kellenyi, who spoke of a homosexual clique at the ACL and how he was the victim of sexual harassment. Without Crisis‘s defense of the ACL, we would have paid no attention to that seminary. Rose rebutted Crisis in the December 2002 NOR, with Crisis responding to that in its own pages, and with Rose making mincemeat of Crisis‘s follow-up article in our June 2003 issue. (In the above New Oxford Note, we cited a promotional campaign from Crisis indicating that it has repositioned itself so as to appeal to dummies. We’ve got to wonder if the dumbing down hasn’t also affected the editors, for Crisis‘s two defenses of the liberal ACL were so inept that they only drew more negative publicity to the troubled seminary Crisis was trying so hard to defend.)

In the midst of this, we printed a letter from Joe Kellenyi (Dec. 2002) and had several New Oxford Notes pertaining to the ACL (Feb. 2003, p. 11; Apr. 2003, pp. 11-12; and May 2003, pp. 9-13 and 13-14). And in this issue we have an article by Alice von Hildebrand on the Catholic University of Louvain, where the ACL’s seminarians take their theology courses.

And, amazingly, the plot thickens: The Official Catholic Directory for 2002 lists Fr. Michael Nash as the number three man at the ACL with the title of Vice Rector for Recruitment. Sadly, Fr. Nash has been in the news lately — and, yep, you guessed it, this priest from the Diocese of Juneau (Alaska) has been accused of pederasty.

A letter in The Wanderer (May 8, p. 11), noted that Nash “was a very close associate of Fr. David Windsor,” until recently the Rector of ACL. Is this significant? Well, Joe Kellenyi claims that Patrick Van Durme, the seminarian Kellenyi alleges was sexually harassing him, said that if Kellenyi wouldn’t accede to his wishes, he would use his purported influence with Rector Windsor to have Kellenyi thrown out of the ACL. What was the source of this influence? Kellenyi alleges that there was apparently some sort of homosexual relationship between Van Durme and Windsor, with Van Durme playing the dominant role in the relationship (see Kellenyi’s “Final Report…,” online. Well, Kellenyi rejected Van Durme’s alleged advances, and Kellenyi was indeed kicked out of ACL, at which time Windsor informed Kellenyi that he is “in serious need of psychological help.”

According to a series of articles published over several months in the Juneau Empire, Fr. Nash was accused last November of raping an adolescent boy for a period of four years. His accuser, Joel Post, alleges he was repeatedly sodomized by Nash in the Alaskan wilderness in the 1980s. Post was aged 11 to 15 at the time.

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