BY SCO Admin | March 21 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print


McLellan: ‘Task is to make Scotland safe’

The man tasked by Scotland’s bishops with overhauling its child protection policy has said the only credible policy for the Church is ‘no abuse, no cover up.’

The Very Reverend Dr Andrew McLellan (above) was speaking in Edinburgh on Tuesday about the remit of the McLellan Commission, which the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland established last year to undertake a critical review of all aspects of safeguarding policy, procedure and practice within the Catholic Church in Scotland.

Dr McLellan has revealed the names of the 11 commissioners that will assist him in this task, drawn from across Scottish public life and including Bishop Stephen Robson of Dunkeld.

“Our task is to make Scotland safe,” Dr McLellan said. “The safety of children and vulnerable adults in the Catholic Church is not just a matter for the Catholic Church: it is a matter of public concern. It is an important task because the harm just one person suffers within the Catholic Church can last a lifetime.”

Dr McLellan, a former moderator of the Church of Scotland and the former head of Her Majesty’s Prison Inspectorate, said he was not aware of any organisation in Scotland that had commissioned an effort of this kind before and the ‘bishops deserve credit for that.’

Dr McLellan said the commission will meet with the full range of interested parties within and beyond the Catholic Church, and will listen to expert opinion on best practice.

Although it will not investigate or adjudicate on current or historical allegations, the commission will listen to the experience of survivors of harm and abuse. Dr McLellan said anyone would be able to approach the commission through its website. He also said he intended the commission to be as transparent and open as possible, that it had the full backing of Scotland’s Bishops and that he hoped to complete report and recommendations by summer 2015.

The commission also intends to assess the quality of support, which is available to survivors of abuse and will also consider wider aspects of culture and governance, which may be relevant, and examine how effective the Catholic Church in Scotland is at promoting awareness and ownership of safeguarding as a core part of the life, work and teaching of the Church.

Joining Dr McLellan (below) on the Commission are: Ranald Mair (deputy chair), chief executive of Scottish Care; Bishop John Arnold, Auxiliary Bishop of the Diocese of Westminster; Malcolm Graham, assistant chief constable of the Police Service of Scotland; Professor Nancy Loucks, CEO of Families Outside and member of the Scottish Government’s Early Years Task Force; The Right Honourable the Lord Mackay of Drumadoon, retired judge and former Solicitor General for Scotland; Kathleen Marshall, former commissioner for Children and Young People in Scotland; Sheena McDonald, journalist and broadcaster; Roisin McGoldrick, teaching fellow at Glasgow School of Social Work; Bishop Stephen Robson, Bishop of Dunkeld; Lindsay Roy, MP for Glenrothes; Danny Sullivan, Chairman of the National Catholic Safeguarding Commission;  and Dr David McAllister (secretary), former Assistant

Chief Inspector of Prisons for Scotland.




—Pic: PA Photos


—This story ran in full in the March 21 edition print of the SCO, available in parishes.



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