Archbishop of Glasgow welcomes safeguarding chair

By Aaron James
December 6, 2016

The Archbishop of Glasgow has welcomed Baroness Helen Liddell as chair of an independent review into the Scottish Catholic Church's safeguarding practices.

Rt Rev Philip Tartaglia (above) thanked Baroness Liddell, a Labour peer and former Scottish secretary, for helping to ensure the recommendations of a commission into abuse claims within the Church, led by the Very Rev Dr Andrew McLellan, are carried out.

The appointment follows criticism from Dr McLellan that the Church was "appearing to ignore" his recommendations, which included ensuring justice is done for those who have been abused and that its safeguarding practices are rewritten and subject to external scrutiny.

The claim was rejected by the Bishops' Conference of Scotland, which said its commitment to implement the recommendations in full had not diminished.

Announcing Baroness Liddell's appointment, the Bishops' Conference said the group would operate separately from the church to review safeguarding standards and carry out independent audits.

Liddell, who also served as British High Commissioner to Australia from 2005 until 2009, said: "This group will be a transparent and fearless means of ensuring that the McLellan Commission recommendations are implemented in full.

"We owe it to the survivors to ensure that their suffering is never repeated."

Archbishop of Glasgow Philip Tartaglia, president of the Bishops' Conference, said: "I am most grateful to Baroness Liddell for agreeing to become the first chair of the independent review group, which will review and audit the Catholic Church's safeguarding work.

"In accepting the recommendation of the McLellan Commission to create an independent group, it was clear that a chairperson of national stature and proven competence would be required and I believe that, in Helen, these qualities are perfectly met."



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