Former moderator given free hand to examine Scottish Church’s handling of abuse

The Tablet

29 November 2013 16:45 by Brian Morton and Sabrina Sweeney

The man chosen to lead an external inquiry into how the Catholic Church in Scotland handles sexual abuse says he has been given a free hand to review child protection in order to guarantee that the “awful” lapses of the past could not be repeated.

The Church in Scotland has been under pressure to commission an outside inquiry into its safeguarding procedures following a BBC documentary showing evidence of physical and sexual abuse carried out at the Benedictine-run Fort Augustus School and its prep school, and the resignation of Cardinal Keith O’Brien after allegations of sexual misconduct were made against him by five men, four of them priests. Those allegations did not involve minors.

On Sunday, the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland announced the review by Dr Andrew McLellan, a former Moderator of the Church of Scotland General Assembly, as part of a three-pronged initiative to confront issues of clerical abuse.

This also includes the publishing on the bishops’ website of a breakdown of abuse allegations made against dioceses between 2006 and 2012, against religious between 2009 and 2012 and a statistical review of all historical cases of abuse from 1947-2005.

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