Rev. Elias Lorenzo: Protector of Children?

Rev. Elias Lorenzo is currently “protecting the rights and safety of children in the Church” (see below).

Since when?


According to credible sources,  Rev. Elias Lorenzo was reportedly present as underage students from Delbarton School drank alcohol, purchased by another monk at the abbey. On more than one occasion, Rev. Lorenzo was present as another perpetrating monk groomed his underage target.

On Tuesday, June 5, 2012, Father Elias Lorenzo was specifically named in a statement read by the attorney for one of Rev. Benedict Worry’s alleged victims.

“Many monks at the abbey, including Abbot Giles Hayes and Father Elias Lorenzo, along with Father Benedict’s diocesan friends, and his acquaintances locally (and internationally, for that matter)… were aware of Benedict’s misconduct, with me and other young men. They must all be held accountable.”

According to a letter drafted in November of 2002, Rev. Elias Lorenzo was interested in a young Delbarton student’s thought about masturbating. The conversation with the student reportedly included Rev. Elias discussing his own habits.

It is unlikely that these claims of misconduct were ever investigated by the abbey and/or the review board. Why?

The review board was instituted in August of 2002. Its members included Rev. Elias Lorenzo.

According to a 2004 publication:

While all of the monks are committed to strengthening the ties of our community through warm and open dialogue, all questions, suggestions, or concerns regarding sexual misconduct should first be addressed to ARB Liaison Father Elias R Lorenzo O.S.B. to ensure that these newly established practices and procedures are observed.

How did a man with Lorenzo’s background end up in a position in Rome with such power and influence?

More soon…

According to the Saint Benedict Education Foundation:

Father Elias Lorenzo, O.S.B., will assume the office of Prior of Sant’ Anselmo in September 2009. As such, he will be responsible for the daily operations of a large and complex international community—home to Benedictines of many nations, cultures, and languages. The Prior is the Abbot Primate’s principle assistant in overseeing the growth and health of the Benedictines who live and study in the heart of Rome.

Father Elias is no stranger to leadership positions in Benedictine life: he has been a member of the Benedictine community of Saint Mary’s for twenty-five years. He entered the Morristown, New Jersey, monastery in 1984, and was ordained as a priest in 1989. During his time at Saint Mary’s Father Elias served in many positions within his community, as well as in the Diocese of Metuchen. Father Elias has been Prior of Saint Mary’s Abbey, Director of Monastic Formation, and Director of Liturgy. At the Delbarton School—run by the monks of Saint Mary’s—Father Elias served for many years as teacher and chairman in the religious studies department, as the director of campus ministry, and as the Vice-President of Delbarton for External Affairs. He also serves at present as the Vicar for Religious of the Diocese of Metuchen.

Father Elias holds degrees in Psychology, Liturgical Studies, and Canon Law. In addition to his responsibilities as the Prior—the superior—of the College of Sant’ Anselmo, Father Elias will serve as the Abbot Primate’s canonical consultant on affairs involving the Benedictine Order and the Holy See.

His canonical work on behalf of the Church in the United States in recent years has brought Father Elias recognition as one who is deeply committed to the long-term strength and vibrancy of the Church, and the care of all of its members, especially those who are the most vulnerable. To this end, he has served as canonical counsel for Praesidium, Inc., certifying the performance of American dioceses in protecting the rights and safety of children in the Church.

Father Elias is an experienced hand in Benedictine affairs at the international level: he was a founding member of the International Commission on Benedictine Education, and continues to be involved in matters related to the Commission as well as to other international charitable initiatives.


Posted: May 3, 2012
Revised: June 7, 2012