BY Ian Dunn | November 20 2015 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print


Bishops agree action plan on abuse cases


The members of the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland have agreed on a plan for implementing the recommendations of the McLellan report.

The plan—detailing how the Church will overhaul its safeguarding structure for dealing with allegations of abuse—will go up on the Bishops’ Conference website on Sunday at noon. The release date was chosen to mark the second anniversary of the Bishops’ Conference announcement of a commission to investigate this issue and just over three months after the McLellan report was published.

The SCO has examined the plan, which aims to establish a comprehensive, transparent and consistent process, in advance of its release. The plan been devised under the auspices of the strategic management group, which contains representatives from the General Secretariat of the Bishops’ Conference and the Catholic Safeguarding Commission.

The document details the Church’s intention to overhaul its safeguarding service, its safeguarding manual and training and create an independent body to oversee these processes. It states that the Church ‘must reach out to survivors’ of clergy abuse and involve them in this process. It also states that the Church will establish a ‘clear policy with regard to meeting any costs relating to the counselling of survivors’ and will consider other case-specific forms of restitution for survivors.

The creation of an independent auditing group will be one of the first tasks, as this group will analyse the implementation of the McLellan report’s recommendations. The exact nature of the independent oversight will be determined by examples of best practice in other Churches and charities.

The bishops are determined that all of the above work is underpinned by the creation of a new ‘theology of safeguarding.’ The aim is to implement the bulk of the recommendations of the McLellan Commission by the end of 2017.

Read the action plan online at from Sunday Nov 22 at 12 noon




—This story ran in full in the November 20 edition print of the SCO, available in parishes.



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