BY Ian Dunn | May 23 2014 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print


Police to hear of overlooked abuse cases in Church

The Church’s national safeguarding officer in Scotland has said that any Church official who covered up child abuse will face the consequences.

Historic allegations of clergy sexual abuse going back to 1947 are currently subject to a review by the Catholic Church.

Tina Campbell (above), national safeguarding co-ordinator for the Scottish Catholic Church, said that for the first time the eight dioceses will be made accountable for their handling of clerical sexual abuse and that ignored allegations will be reported by her office to Police Scotland.

“They are having to report if they have acted or not,” she said. “If they say, ‘we found something in the file but we haven’t reported it to the police,’ they will be questioned about that. If there is an allegation and it has not been reported to police it must now be reported.”

The second study of historical cases from 1947 to 2007 is now under way, with each diocese expected to provide detailed information on: Complaints of sexual abuse reported to the police and their outcome; complaints not reported, the reason why and proof that they have now been reported; and, finally, updates on ‘problem priests’ who are not accused of criminal behaviour but have formed inappropriate relationships and so on; and details of their treatment and support.

Once collated by the national safeguarding co-ordinator, the statistics will be analysed by Professor Eddie McKenzie at Strathclyde University before publication.

In a related move, the Vatican on Monday said it was setting up an appeals body for priests under internal investigation by the Catholic Church for alleged child sex crimes. The new committee will be part of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Church’s doctrinal watchdog, which handles investigations carried out under Canon law.



— Breaking news on clerical abuse cases and action in Scotland and the Vatican in this week’s print edition in parishes


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