‘Damages’ paid in Fr. Tolkien case

‘Damages’ paid in Fr. Tolkien case

This saddens more than the usual case, even though it probably shouldn’t. It probably shouldn’t matter to me that the priest involved in this case is the son of J.R.R. Tolkien, but it does.

The Archdiocese of Birmingham, England, has paid a settlement to a man who claims he was abused by Fr. John Tolkien, son of the author, 40 years ago. Prosecutors were prepared to charge Fr. Tolkien, but by then the priest was too old to go to trial and he died in January of this year. In any case, the archdiocese has settled.

I have a particular fondness for J.R.R. Tolkien and by extension his family, so it saddens me that his son, the only one to become a Catholic priest, essentially has been acknowledged as a child molester (he’ll never get a chance to prove his innocence in court and the assumption from now on will be that he did what he was accused of.)

I will give the victim credit that he doesn’t appear to be attempting self-enrichment. He hasn’t made any indication that he plans to sue the Tolkien estate which is worth millions (and maybe hundreds of millions after the success of the movies).

1 comment
  • It doesn’t matter what it legally means. In the minds of the general public, a settlement means guilt. Doesn’t make it right, but that’s what it is. And since Fr. Tolkien is dead and no one seems interested in pursuing the matter, that’s how it will stay.