Andrew Soper, known as Father Laurence, faces 19 historical sex charges relating to 10 former pupils at St Benedict's School.
The 74-year-old former abbot has denied the offences of indecent assault, indecency with a child, and buggery allegedly committed in the 1970s and 80s.
The boys, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, were subjected to sexual touching and beaten with a cane, according to the charges.
A jury was sworn in at the Old Bailey on Tuesday (October 3) and then sent away until next Tuesday (October 10) when prosecutor Gillian Etherton QC will open the case.
Soper was previously arrested in Kosovo after being hunted over sex offences allegedly carried out when he was a teacher at the school.
The then 68-year-old was arrested in 2010 on suspicion of historical sexual assault after a man claimed he had been the victim of sexual assault at the school, where Soper taught in the 70s and 80s.
He was bailed, but failed to return to a London police station in March 2011. The Metropolitan Police obtained a European Arrest Warrant in September 2012.
Police said at the time that they believed Soper had been living in Italy.
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