BY Ian Dunn | May 31 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print


Church apology as abuse inquiry begins

The Catholic Church and Church of Scotland have offered apologies for the abuse of children in care at the first hearing of the national child abuse inquiry in Edinburgh today.

The Inquiry is being headed by Lady Smith  who said it was a ‘tragedy’ many survivors had died without accountability for what happened to them, including a leading campaigner who died just weeks ago.

In opening statements to the inquiry, a number of care providers and religious orders gave ‘unreserved apologies’ for physical and sexual abuse that took place in the past.

Representing the Catholic Church, the Bishops Conference of Scotland said ‘red flags and warning signs’ had been missed.

Speaking of behalf of the bishops, Canon Thomas Boyle said all Catholics felt an ‘overwhelming sense of shame that these abhorrent crimes happened’.

Laura Dunlop QC, representing Crossreach, the social care arm of the Church of Scotland, said the Church felt ‘sorrow’ at the abuse that took place in its institutions and offered a ‘heartfelt apology’.

The inquiry will hold a number of public hearing over the coming weeks.

Lady Smith said the inquiry would be a ‘painful process’, but necessary to uncover the abuse that took place in the past.

A number of abuse survivors held a vigil outside Roseberry house as the Inquiry began.


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