New archbishop to open abuse files

Scottish Catholic Observer

The new Archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh is expected to open all the archdiocese’s files on allegations of clerical abuse to a national independent enquiry.

Mgr Leo Cushley, who will be installed as Archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh next month, is expected to fully endorse plans by the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland dating back to 2011 to examine all Church records for instances of clerical abuse.


Archbishop Emeritus Mario Conti of Glasgow said last week that the Scottish Bishops’ plan for an independent inquiry into these records was postponed when one member—reported to be Cardinal Keith O’Brien, before he retired—indicated that his diocese needed more time to be sufficiently prepared to participate.

“It was the intention of the conference to publish these audits but was delayed in doing so by the objection of a member of the conference; without full participation of all the dioceses the exercise would have been faulty,” Archbishop Conti said. “I understand that in the light of the criticisms, which the Church has been, in my opinion unjustly, facing, these audits will now be published. I think they will go some distance not only in confirming what Bishop [Emeritus] Devine [of Motherwell] said by way of the number of cases which we have had to address, but in demonstrating the seriousness and competence with which the Church in Scotland has been dealing with safeguarding in all its implications.”

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