Conversations about Safeguarding

8th August 2019

The IRG (Independent Review Group) was established by the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland following the publication of the McLellan Commission Report which reviewed Safeguarding policies, procedure and practice.  The IRG was tasked with scrutinising the progress of the implementation of the McLellan recommendations in the Catholic Church in Scotland. Its first report was published in June 2019. It shows that a good start has been made but that there is much still to do to ensure that safeguarding is understood as a core part of the mission of the church. 

As part of its ongoing work the IRG has, therefore, approached all dioceses to collaborate in hosting some open meetings. These 'conversations' will provide information about the work of the IRG and, more importantly, hear ideas from all parts of the Church about how to progress a shared understanding of Safeguarding and improve the Church’s approach to all aspects of Safeguarding. This includes the Church’s response to those who have been hurt by abuse. 

These are short gatherings which are intended to be listening exercises in which everyone can have a voice. With that in mind they may not be the best place to raise specific grievances or concerns. Anyone attending, however, can be given information about sources of advice and help. Diocesan staff and members of the IRG will do their best to respond separately to any individual concerns or issues. There will be a mechanism for leaving comments and feedback for those who do not want to speak. 

These meetings are a small part of the work of the IRG. It is the responsibility of the Church to continue the work of making the Church safe for all. It is a fervent hope, however, that people contributing to these conversations will provide much wisdom and impetus to help that journey. 

Dates /location of meetings in Dioceses will be added below.

Diocese Place Address Date Time Contact
Glasgow Archdiocesan Office 196 Clyde Street, GLASGOW G1 4JY Saturday 7th September 2019 12 - 3pm

Safeguarding Team 0141 226 5898

Galloway St Matthew's Parish Hall Grassyards Road, KILMARNOCK KA3 7SH Saturday 14th September 2019 11am  







Independent Review Group First Report

15th June 2019

The Independent Review Group, chaired by Baroness Helen Liddell, published its first report on the Safeguarding practices and policies of the Catholic Church in Scotland. The report can be viewed here.

Pope issues new norms against those who abuse or cover up

7th May 2019

Pope Francis' Motu proprio, 'Vos estis lux mundi', establishes new procedures for reporting abuse and violence, and ensures that Bishops and Religious Superiors are held accountable for their actions. It includes the obligation for clerics and religious to report abuse. Every Diocese must have a system that allows the public to submit reports easily.

"Vos estis lux mundi". "You are the light of the world… Our Lord Jesus Christ calls every believer to be a shining example of virtue, integrity and holiness". The Gospel of Matthew provides the title and first words of Pope Francis' new Motu proprio dedicated to the fight against sexual abuse committed by clerics and religious, as well as the actions or omissions of Bishops and Religious Superiors that in any way interfere with or fail to investigate abuse. The Pope recalls that "the crimes of sexual abuse offend Our Lord, cause physical, psychological and spiritual damage to the victims and harm the community of the faithful", and mentions the special responsibility of the Successors of the Apostles to prevent these crimes. The document represents another result of the Meeting on the Protection of Minors held in the Vatican in February 2019. It establishes new procedural rules to combat sexual abuse and to ensure that Bishops and Religious Superiors are held accountable for their actions. It establishes universal norms, which apply to the whole Catholic Church.

Read the full Motu proprio: 'Vos estis lux mundi' here.

2019 Vatican Summit on Protection of Minors

PBC 2019 logo

In his concluding address at this meeting of experts on the issue of Child Abuse, Pope Francis said: 

"The best results and the most effective resolution that we can offer to the victims, to the People of Holy Mother Church and to the entire world, are the commitment to personal and collective conversion, the humility of learning, listening, assisting and protecting the most vulnerable.

I make a heartfelt appeal for an all-out battle against the abuse of minors both sexually and in other areas, on the part of all authorities and individuals, for we are dealing with abominable crimes that must be erased from the face of the earth: this is demanded by all the many victims hidden in families and in the various settings of our societies."

Read the full text here.