On Wednesday Bishop John Mone was welcomed to the meeting of the English and Welsh hierarchy's discussion on the Nolan Report and had the opportunity to meet with both Lord Nolan and Sir Swinton Thomas, Vice-Chair of the Committee.

Bishop Mone, on behalf of the Catholic Church in Scotland, welcomed the work of the committee and was sure the Catholic Church in Scotland would benefit from insights in the report. The Church will be guided by the paramountcy of the principle of child safety and has set up a variety of initiatives to create and sustain a culture of vigilance in all work with children under Church auspices.

The Current Scottish Situation
The Catholic Church in Scotland has worked to nationally agreed guidelines for two years. These are currently being reviewed and recommendations will be put to the autumn meeting of the Bishops' Conference. There is much sharing of information, expertise and resources among the eight Scottish Dioceses. There is also liaison between the Catholic and Reformed Churches in Scotland and a developing relationship with other Churches in Britain and Ireland.

We have a national co-ordinator, a national Advisory Group, eight diocesan advisors and diocesan child protection teams are developing in each diocese. Individual bishops are briefed regularly by lay diocesan Child Protection Teams and the Bishops' Conference is kept informed by the Episcopal Chairman, Bishop John Mone.

None of the diocesan Chid Protection Advisors is a priest. All are lay or religious volunteers. All have social care or child-care background and half of them have current or recent expertise in front-line civil child protection.

The Catholic Church in Scotland already follows the 13 principles in "Safe from Harm".

Criminal Record checks at application and pre-ordination stages of student for priesthood are recommended.

The Church recognises that the statutory authorities are the responsible bodies for investigation. All people disclosing abuse or making allegations should be advised of their rights, and even their duty, to report such matters to the statutory authorities.

Initial Reactions to the Nolan report and its Recommendations

Risk Assessment is a specialised task and may become a delegated responsibility to a small number of the diocesan protection team.


Help for victims is patchy and of varying styles. More quality help must be made available if the Church's role as a healer is to be sustained. Both in-house and other reputable help will be encouraged.

Parish Support is necessary but has to be skilfully done by those with appropriate knowledge, understanding and sensitivity.

It is clear that convicted abusers should have no opportunity to work children. Convictions are comparatively rare and the Church may be faced with situations where circumstantial evidence is all that is available.

Laicisation or Suspension should be used where appropriate. It is important that statutory authorities are informed so that supervision is continued after the person leaves the direct supervision of the current superior.

Already diocese have asked parishes to draw up a full list of children's groups and adults with child contact.  

Concluding Comments
The Catholic Church in Scotland has taken action to make the protection of children and vulnerable adults a priority. We fully agree with Nolan that the Church should be an exemplar of good practice and actively work to protect children. The Scottish Catholic Church believes it has acted in the best interest of children and while our existing guidelines are excellent we are not complacent. Every organisation including the Church, must continually reassess its child protection strategies. A full review of our existing guidelines will be done by the autumn. In this regard we welcome the proposals of Nolan and will follow developments closely. We look forward to ever-closer liaison and co-operation with our brothers and sister Catholics in England and Wales.

ENDS

For further press inquiries contact Dave McCann on 0141 331 0083.

PR 270401 DMcL

Subscribe to Updates

Subscribe to:
Like   Back to Top   Seen 0 times   Liked 0 times

Subscribe to Updates

If you enjoyed this, why not subscribe to free email updates ?

I've already subscribed / don't show me this again

Recent Posts

Catholic Bishops announce resumption of communal worship

| 4 days ago | Blogging

Thursday 9 July 2020Catholic Bishops announce resumption of communal worshipScotland’s Catholic Bishops have welcomed the First Minister’s comments today (Thursday 9 July) on places of worship and have announced the resumption of communal worship in Catholic parishes from 15 July. Commenting on the move, the President of the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland, Bishop Hugh Gilbert said;“Over the past month, our parishes have been preparing for the safe resumption of communal prayer and the celebration of Mass, which is at the centre of the life of the church. To have been unable to attend Mass for many months has been a source of real sadness for Scotland’s Catholics and I am sure there will be great joy at the prospect of returning.”“Thanks to the widespread implementation of the church’s Infection Control protocols, Catholic parishes will begin the resumption of public Masses and other communal activities from 15 July.”Bishop Gilbert added;“The bishops are extremely grateful to all those who have worked tirelessly to prepare our parishes for public worship and to those who made their views known to their parliamentary representatives and the government on the subject of communal worship.While thanking the Scottish Government for listening to these calls, we would remind parishioners that the obligation to attend Sunday Mass remains suspended and ask those who return to do so in accordance with the infection control measures in force in each parish, mindful always of the need to protect themselves and others.”ENDS Peter Kearney 
Director 
Catholic Media Office 
0141 221 1168
07968 122291 
pk@scmo.org 
www.scmo.orgNote to Editors:The Infection Control Working Group’s Report can be viewed here:https://www.bcos.org.uk/Portals/0/Documents/COVID-19%20Infection%20Control%20Advice%20230620.pdf...

Bishops welcome Review Group’s Annual report

| 26th June 2020 | Blogging

Bishops welcome Review Group’s Annual report Friday 26 June 2020   The Second Annual Report of the Independent Review Group (IRG) monitoring the implementation of the recommendations of the McLellan Commission by the Catholic Church in Scotland has been welcomed by the Bishops’ Conference. The report, published on 26 June is available at: https://www.bcos.org.uk/Portals/0/Documents/IRG%20Report%20June%202020.pdf   Commenting on the publication, Bishop Joseph Toal, President of the Commission for Pastoral and Social Care said;“On behalf of the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland, I thank the IRG for their work and welcome the publication of their second annual report, which will be given careful consideration.”   Bishop Toal added;   “Safeguarding remains at the heart of the church’s mission and the maintenance of high standards is only possible through independent scrutiny of an autonomous body like the IRG that works separately from the Catholic Church.”   ENDS Peter Kearney Director Catholic Media Office 0141 221 116807968 122291 pk@scmo.org www.scmo.org      ...

Bishops appoint new Vice Rector for Scots College

| 12th June 2020 | Blogging

Bishops appoint new Vice Rector for Scots College 12 June 2020   A new Vice Rector has been announced for the Pontifical Scots College in Rome. Fr Nick Welsh (36) was chosen for the post by the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland and is expected to begin the role in September.   He is currently parish priest at Our Lady and St Andrew, covering Galashiels, Melrose and Selkirk, and Vicar Episcopal for Education for the Archdiocese of St Andrews & Edinburgh.   Commenting on the appointment, Archbishop Leo Cushley, Archbishop of St Andrews & Edinburgh said: “The Bishops thank Fr Nick for accepting this role and acknowledge the big change in having to leave his parish to move to Rome. “I am confident he will do an excellent job in forming our seminarians. It’s both challenging and rewarding and, when he returns, our diocese will greatly benefit from his experience.”   Fr Nick attended the college as a seminarian between 2007-14 and has a licence in Theology.   Reacting to his appointment, Fr Nick said: “To go back to Rome is certainly an exciting thing for me. I love being a priest and it is life-giving to be around people who want to be priests. I look forward to contributing to the formation of the seminarians and helping them become good priests. But I will also leave the Borders with a heavy heart and wish to thank all parishioners there.”   College rector Fr Daniel Fitzpatrick said: “We look forward to welcoming Fr Nick who will have a key role in the day-to-day running of the seminary and accompanying students as part of their formation. He succeeds Fr Stuart Parkes who gave us three years of service and enjoyed contributing to the life of the college. We wish him all the best on his return to the diocese of Motherwell.”   ENDS   Peter Kearney Director Catholic Media Office 0141 221 116807968 122291 pk@scmo.org www.scmo.org   Note to Editors:   An image of Fr. Nick Welsh is available to download here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/139632090@N07/albums/72157714673928877  ...

Catholic Bishops say Immigration Bill will “drastically alter opportunities” for migrants

| 09th June 2020 | Blogging

Catholic Bishops say Immigration Bill will “drastically alter opportunities” for migrants. Tuesday 9 June 2020   In a strongly worded joint statement sent to opposition party leaders at Westminster, Catholic Bishops from Scotland and England & Wales have encouraged the UK Government to consider amendments to the Immigration Bill currently before parliament.   The Bishops’ call for; a time limit on detention, together with “a significant permanent reduction in the use of detention will allow us to properly protect people’s health and human dignity”, they also propose, that the minimum income threshold for family visas should be reduced and for repeal of the offence of illegal working, since “fear of prosecution currently deters people from escaping abusive employment practices or presenting themselves to the police”.   The statement also calls for changes to the clergy visa system. Scotland’s lead Bishop for migrants and refugees, Bishop William Nolan, said; “Most Catholic dioceses previously used Tier 5 Religious Worker visas for priests to come here on essential supply placements, allowing Catholics to continue attending Mass, the new Tier 2 visas have more than doubled the costs incurred by parishes arranging supply cover.” “Furthermore, seminaries that conduct formation in English are not necessarily recognised by the Home Office as meeting the English language requirement under the Tier 2 route, meaning that many priests who have been educated to post-graduate level in English are nevertheless required to take a language test with extra logistical and cost implications.” Bishop Nolan concluded; “We strongly urge the Government to accept amendments addressing these important issues and hope that MPs from all parties will take this opportunity to help create a more just and humane immigration system.”   ENDS   Peter Kearney Director Catholic Media Office 0141 221 116807968 122291 pk@scmo.org www.scmo.org     Note to Editors:   The full text of the statement is shown below: Catholic Church statement on amendments to the Immigration Bill The Immigration Bill currently before parliament will drastically alter people’s opportunities to build their lives here and contribute to our society. The UK’s Catholic population is made up of people from across the world including a significant number of European citizens. Around 60% of Europeans living in the UK are Catholics. We therefore recognise the profound impact that ending free movement will have on so many families and communities. While we do not agree with the principle of making European citizens apply for their existing rights in the UK, the Church is working to raise awareness of the Settlement Scheme and help those who are at risk of losing their status. However, no scheme will reach all European citizens in the UK. Even if a small proportion do not make an application by the June 2021 deadline, this could leave thousands of people without legal status. We encourage amendments to the bill that will create a meaningful safety-net including options to extend the deadline. At the same time this bill and the development of new rules present a chance to make several positive changes to our immigration system: Introducing a time limit on immigration detention The UK remains the only European country without a time limit on detention. This has devastating consequences for the wellbeing of vulnerable individuals who find themselves detained including some victims of torture, survivors of trafficking and people fleeing religious persecution in their home countries. It also has a significant impact on families who are separated with no indication of when they might be reunited. The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted serious health risks in crowded detention centres. While we are grateful for the emergency steps that were taken to reduce infection and save lives, only a significant permanent reduction in t...