The Church in Scotland responds to McLellan Commission “Review of Safeguarding Protocols and Procedures”

Following the
publication earlier today a “Review of Safeguarding Protocols and Procedures” by
a Commission chaired by the Very Rev Dr Andrew McLellan, the Catholic Bishops of
Scotland have welcomed the report and accepted its recommendations in
full.

The report comprises a detailed assessment of all aspects of
Safeguarding within the church and can be viewed here:
www.mclellancommission.co.uk  

In the report preface, Dr. McLellan
notes:
“The invitation to chair this Commission came from the Bishops’
Conference of the Catholic Church in Scotland. When I accepted it I made it
clear that I did not feel that my first responsibility was to them. My first
responsibility was, and has been through all our work, to those who have been
harmed.“

Dr. McLellan adds:
“The fact that the Bishops commissioned a
Minister of the Church of Scotland to carry out this review demonstrated an
ecumenical trust, which could not have been guessed at in Scotland thirty years
ago. I appreciate that generosity of spirit.“

In the Report, the Commission
set out 8 principal recommendations:

1. Support for the survivors of abuse
must be an absolute priority for the Catholic Church in Scotland in the field of
safeguarding. The Bishops’ Conference of Scotland should make a public apology
to all survivors of abuse within the Church. 

2. The “Awareness and Safety”
manual should be completely revised or rewritten.

3. There must be some
external scrutiny and independence in the safeguarding policies and practices of
the Catholic Church in Scotland.

4. Effectiveness and improvement must be
measured at every level of safeguarding in the Church.

5. A consistent
approach to safeguarding is essential: consistent across    different parts of
Scotland and consistent across different parts of the Church.

6. Justice must
be done, and justice must be seen to be done, for those who have been abused and
for those against whom allegations of abuse are made.

7. The priority of
undertaking regular high-quality training and continuous professional
development in safeguarding must be understood and accepted by all those
involved in safeguarding at every level.

8. The Catholic Church in Scotland
must set out a theology of safeguarding which is coherent and
compelling.

Responding to the report and offering the Public Apology called
for in its first recommendation, Archbishop Philip Tartaglia said:

“As the
President of the Bishops’ Conference, and on behalf of all the Bishops of
Scotland, I want to offer a profound apology to all those who have been harmed
and who have suffered in any way as a result of actions by anyone within the
Catholic Church.

Child abuse is a horrific crime. That this abuse should have
been carried out within the Church, and by priests and religious, takes that
abuse to another level. Such actions are inexcusable and intolerable. The harm
the perpetrators of abuse have caused is first and foremost to their victims,
but it extends far beyond them, to their families and friends, as well as to the
Church and wider society.  

I would like to assure the survivors of abuse
that the Catholic Bishops of Scotland are shamed and pained by what you have
suffered. We say sorry. We ask forgiveness.
  
We apologise to those who have
found the Church’s response slow, unsympathetic or uncaring and reach out to
them as we take up the recommendations of the McLellan
Commission.”

Commenting on the report, Bishop Joseph Toal, the Bishop
responsible for Safeguarding said:

“In accepting fully the recommendations in
this report, the Catholic Church in Scotland renews its commitment to protect
and safeguard everyone in our parish communities. Our clergy and lay faithful
are committed to on-going training and professional development and accept this
is a priority for all those involved in Safeguarding at every level. We ask
God's blessing on the clergy and lay faithful who have special responsibilities
in carrying out this essential service in our parishes and church
organisations."

Reacting to the Report, the Church’s National Safeguarding
Co-ordinator, Mrs. Tina Campbell, said:

“The detailed and informed analysis
of the McLellan Commission will be incorporated fully into the work being
carried out by the Catholic Church in Scotland to develop and maintain
Safeguarding standards, which will protect and defend all members of our
Catholic community.”

“I acknowledge and thank the many volunteers who give
geChurch responds to McLellan Commission

Following the
publication earlier today a “Review of Safeguarding Protocols and Procedures” by
a Commission chaired by the Very Rev Dr Andrew McLellan, the Catholic Bishops of
Scotland have welcomed the report and accepted its recommendations in
full.

The report comprises a detailed assessment of all aspects of
Safeguarding within the church and can be viewed here:
www.mclellancommission.co.uk 

In the report preface, Dr. McLellan
notes:
“The invitation to chair this Commission came from the Bishops’
Conference of the Catholic Church in Scotland. When I accepted it I made it
clear that I did not feel that my first responsibility was to them. My first
responsibility was, and has been through all our work, to those who have been
harmed.“

Dr. McLellan adds:
“The fact that the Bishops commissioned a
Minister of the Church of Scotland to carry out this review demonstrated an
ecumenical trust, which could not have been guessed at in Scotland thirty years
ago. I appreciate that generosity of spirit.“

In the Report, the Commission
set out 8 principal recommendations:

1. Support for the survivors of abuse
must be an absolute priority for the Catholic Church in Scotland in the field of
safeguarding. The Bishops’ Conference of Scotland should make a public apology
to all survivors of abuse within the Church. 

2. The “Awareness and Safety”
manual should be completely revised or rewritten.

3. There must be some
external scrutiny and independence in the safeguarding policies and practices of
the Catholic Church in Scotland.

4. Effectiveness and improvement must be
measured at every level of safeguarding in the Church.

5. A consistent
approach to safeguarding is essential: consistent across different parts of
Scotland and consistent across different parts of the Church.

6. Justice must
be done, and justice must be seen to be done, for those who have been abused and
for those against whom allegations of abuse are made.

7. The priority of
undertaking regular high-quality training and continuous professional
development in safeguarding must be understood and accepted by all those
involved in safeguarding at every level.

8. The Catholic Church in Scotland
must set out a theology of safeguarding which is coherent and
compelling.

Responding to the report and offering the Public Apology called
for in its first recommendation, Archbishop Philip Tartaglia said:

“As the
President of the Bishops’ Conference, and on behalf of all the Bishops of
Scotland, I want to offer a profound apology to all those who have been harmed
and who have suffered in any way as a result of actions by anyone within the
Catholic Church.

Child abuse is a horrific crime. That this abuse should have
been carried out within the Church, and by priests and religious, takes that
abuse to another level. Such actions are inexcusable and intolerable. The harm
the perpetrators of abuse have caused is first and foremost to their victims,
but it extends far beyond them, to their families and friends, as well as to the
Church and wider society. 

I would like to assure the survivors of abuse
that the Catholic Bishops of Scotland are shamed and pained by what you have
suffered. We say sorry. We ask forgiveness.
 
We apologise to those who have
found the Church’s response slow, unsympathetic or uncaring and reach out to
them as we take up the recommendations of the McLellan
Commission.”

Commenting on the report, Bishop Joseph Toal, the Bishop
responsible for Safeguarding said:

“In accepting fully the recommendations in
this report, the Catholic Church in Scotland renews its commitment to protect
and safeguard everyone in our parish communities. Our clergy and lay faithful
are committed to on-going training and professional development and accept this
is a priority for all those involved in Safeguarding at every level. We ask
God's blessing on the clergy and lay faithful who have special responsibilities
in carrying out this essential service in our parishes and church
organisations."

Reacting to the Report, the Church’s National Safeguarding
Co-ordinator, Mrs. Tina Campbell, said:

“The detailed and informed analysis
of the McLellan Commission will be incorporated fully into the work being
carried out by the Catholic Church in Scotland to develop and maintain
Safeguarding standards, which will protect and defend all members of our
Catholic community.”

“I acknowledge and thank the many volunteers who give
generously of their time as Parish Safeguarding Coordinators, as well as
Trainers and others whose work represents a huge commitment to ensuring the
safety and welfare of everyone in the Church. I offer particular thanks to the
Diocesan Advisers who have contributed significantly to ensuring that
Safeguarding policies are implemented at a local level, while providing
dedicated support and assistance above and beyond what is expected of
them.”

nerously of their time as Parish Safeguarding Coordinators, as well as
Trainers and others whose work represents a huge commitment to ensuring the
safety and welfare of everyone in the Church. I offer particular thanks to the
Diocesan Advisers who have contributed significantly to ensuring that
Safeguarding policies are implemented at a local level, while providing
dedicated support and assistance above and beyond what is expected of
them.”

cource: Catholic Bishops' Conference Scotland, Press Office

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