Church child protection chief caught with child pornography

Sunday Mirror – July 31, 2011
by Geoffrey Lakeman, Sunday Mirror 31/07/2011

catholic child protection chief caught with child pornograhy

Christopher Jarvis leaves court

A child protection official for the Catholic Church has been caught with 4,000 pictures of child porn.
Father-of-four Christopher Jarvis was arrested after uploading pictures of children being abused to a website.
Married Jarvis, 49, a former social worker, was employed by the church following sex scandals about pervert priests.

His job was to monitor church groups to ensure paedophiles did not gain access to children in the church’s congregations.
But he was caught by police in March with more than 4,000 child porn images on his home computer and his work laptop.
He admitted 12 counts of making, ­possessing and distributing indecent ­images when he appeared before ­magistrates in Plymouth and is likely to face jail when he returns to court for sentencing next month.

Jarvis, who has been sacked from his job as child safeguarding ­officer, worked the Diocese of ­Plymouth for nine years. Church spokesman ­David Pond said: “Mr Jarvis was suspended from his position as soon as the diocese became aware in March of the police investigation. “The Bishop took that action and since then the Church has worked closely with the police.”

Our comment
The last paragraph, of course, is the most important: look how well the catholic church is handling the case of a pedophile working for them! They fired the guy when the police started the investigation! …And since then they are working closely with the police; Even better!

What the article does not get into is the fact that this person was put in that position in the first place?!?
In England, like in most civilized countries in Europe, there exists something like the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB). When somebody applies for a job consisting mainly of working with children or other vulnerable persons, they are checked there before hiring.

Maybe Mr Jarvis had no criminal record yet?
Well, that is bad luck; then even a CRB check does not help. Like any system, it functions only when records are available.

But would the diocese of Plymouth have run a CRB check on mr Jarvis before employing him into such sensitive position?
What are the church procedures when hiring people for these sensitive positions?
Do they have a procedure, or is it sufficient to eat fish on friday and go to church on sunday?
Does the CRB apply for people working for the catholic church in England?
Does the catholic church report to the CRB on any criminal charges resulting from their own “justice system” – canon law?
Knowing how the catholic church prefers to keep a lid on any criminal activities by church employees, the CRB will probably never function for those criminals having taken shelter in that institution.

In the rest of Europe? I can’t tell, but in my homecountry, the Netherlands, we tried to change the law in 2007.
The TV-documentary of my case against the church resulted in politicians fervently proclaiming that the same law should apply to all.
A majority in the parliament after one afternoon of calling around.
Criminal charges against church employees (whether priests or laymen) were until then not reported into our very own CRB.
(If those criminal charges were ever brought to any kind of court…whether secular or canonic!?!)
And the politicians were of the opinion that that should change.
The catholic church wiped the whole issue off the table hiding behind the “segregation of church and state”: the politicians had no business mixing with the catholic church’ internal procedures.
And that was it…case closed…no change of law…
Again the catholic church put their own secrecy about what is happening behind the high walls of the churches, institutions and convents or misbehaving of church employees, above the protection of children.
Specific for the Netherlands? No, standard procedure…

Every sane person in the world would think that the protection of children is the highest good of any civilisation. The roman catholic church proved again not being a part of that…

And so mr Christopher Jarvis is not an exemption, a coincidence, these same horrors happen all over the world and time and time again. Again and again criminals employed by the catholic church are being exposed, but some people still don’t connect the dots in the puzzle.
Is the image to frightening to see or have they been indoctrinated? That is material for another article to be published here soon.

Ton Leerschool
Survivors Voice Europe – August 2011


  1. Parents – keep your kids away from Catholic priests.

    It is still dangerous in 2011, despite how they will lie and tell you otherwise, Take a look at this year’s stories in Philadelphia, KC, Ireland, and dozens of sites where they have been caught. Catholics still defend their pedophile protection program.

    You can still save your kids if they haven’t been abused by a priest yet.

  2. In response to your questions:

    *But would the diocese of Plymouth have run a CRB check on mr Jarvis before employing him into such sensitive position?
    Yes. Mr Jarvis had previously worked as a social worker so would have had a CRB check for that job also. He had worked with children for a very long time and had an excellent record. No one had any idea about his change of mental state.

    *What are the church procedures when hiring people for these sensitive positions?
    To advertise the post, read applications, check references, interview and request a CRB check.

    *Does the CRB apply for people working for the catholic church in England?

    *Does the catholic church report to the CRB on any criminal charges resulting from their own “justice system” – canon law?
    Yes, of course. The Catholic “justice system” does not work outside of the UK Justice System.

  3. What that article doesn’t say is that Jarvis was himself abused by a priest as a child. He never came to terms with it, and worked to protect children (as a social worker then with the church). He struggled to deal with his emotions (he suffered depression and break downs) and eventually lost and turned to this terrible obsession. What a shame he never got the help he needed when he was still fighting.

    • Dear Kirbly,
      This is a typical and predictable result of the Churches inability to help someone who was abused.
      This man went on to abuse others, and so it goes on.
      If this person was abused by a priest himself, then as a survivor, one would feel empathy and sorrow for his plight. Disgust, (though not surprise) also, that he didn’t receive the help he needed before he damaged others.
      Hoewever: not all of us go on to abuse children,or collect child pornography, regardless of the horrors we have sustained at the hands of priests.
      Two wrongs never did make a right.
      The blame clearly lies with the institution, who failed him, and then failed to protect others from the results of their failures.
      And, as usual come up with some very lame excuses.
      Sue Cox

    • What the article also doesn’t say is that Christopher Jarvis was withholding the results of his investigations from the victims and passing his files onto the Church to give them a ‘head’s up’ and to see what he should do with them. All of this goes to show that the Church is still looking after itself and not the victims.

  4. Lou Rooney, Counsellor

    I think fundamentally there are a number of issues/questions here. CRB is one thing and as we all know if you aint got a record then you are going to pass this. For me this highlights a basic need for annual rechecks of CRB/enhanced clearance. The whole CRB system needs to be tightened, improved, etc. and I feel sure that this would make good meaty dialogue for another thread.

    However, in relation to this abuser’s ‘mental state’ that J. Marsh refers to – surely if he is working with such vulnerable clients in such a highly sensitive area and is a so-called professional (what qualifications he has I don’t know) he would be subject to some degree of ongoing evaluation or supervision??!!

    When I have my very expensive four-weekly supervision with an independent, external, highly qualified supervisor, one of the key functions of that work is to ensure that I am fit for practice, checking out my ‘mental state’ and ‘triggers’ etc. that might be going on for me. I embrace this, welcome it, am happy to undertake this, opening my thinking, beliefs, practice and life up to scrutiny knowing that all of my clients can rely on my approach to safety. This is something robust and honourable counselling/therapeutic professionals surely welcome and I am prepared to be told by my supervisor that I may, for example need to withdraw from client work for a break, or undertake therapy, or that something I have said may be a breach of UK Legislation.


    What are his current professional qualifications? Is he up to date with these?

    Did the diocese take out a CRB check on him for his role with them? CRB checks apply to organisation/role that you have, they are not a catch-all for anything that you do. So his CRB for his former social work role would not necessarily have applied. If they did not take this out, why not? If they didn’t then surely J. Marsh they at that point are not in touch with UK legislation.

    Did the diocese provide him with independent, external supervision – if not then institutionally they would do well to come into the real world and provide such safe-guarding for clients. It’s a bit of a no-brainer if you ask me.

    Did the diocese know about this man’s former abuse? If they did then I make no apology for wondering whether the church felt a need to ‘contain’ this man by perhaps offering him this role. Why would I think this? Simply because this is their MO!!! I would welcome hard evidence that my musings are way off beam!

    There is no doubt that not all survivors of abuse go on to abuse but some do and I would have thought that working with vulnerable patients in such direct contact would have at least instigated some questions about this former abused person’s fitness to undertake the job? It’s not to say that people with experience of abuse cannot work in this field. Quite the opposite, in fact they bring immense experience, insight and inspire great empathy HOWEVER as with every other therapeutic professional abused or not there MUST MUST MUST be supervision that picks up ‘changes in mental health/circumstances/thinking’ etc.

    Now I know even making independent supervision compulsory under law may not stop perpetrators from doing what they do as well but given that this bloke slipped through a net somewhere it at least tightens up the threads a little more.

    I also know that we are surmising an awful lot here however I go back to my original reaction to this story – shocked but incredibly not surprised – that in itself speaks volumes. Compounded by the fact that it warranted nothing more than a cursory mention, hidden away in the shadows of the press – seemingly just like everything else that the church are involved with.

    I suspect this thread may go on!

  5. This man has been doing thus stuff for 10 years. He was to be sentenced on 21st October. WHERE IS HE NOW???

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *