The second annual report on sexual misconduct reflects the progress of the Scottish Church on the subject, although much remains to be done to create a true culture of protection for the most vulnerable.
Protection of minors “Remains at the heart of the mission of the Church and the maintenance of high standards is possible only through independent oversight of an autonomous body. “ In this way Bishop Joseph Tall, president of the Scottish Bishops Commission for Pastoral Care and Welfare, commented on the publication of the second report of the IRG (Independent Review Group) on the subject of abuse. Established in December 2016, the IRG operates autonomously and has the mission of monitoring implementation by the Catholic Church in Scotland of the recommendations of the McLodden Commission. In 2013 the same commission created by the diocese has aimed to ensure itself that the Scottish Church’s abuse procedures are implemented.
Simplify procedures for reporting
The IRG report first states that “The situation in Scotland is improving», But this remains to be done exclusively to achieve uniformity of procedures and methods across the country. “Abuse survivors are at the heart of our work, Explains the group, We should learn from them and through it put up structures that protect the vulnerable. The role of all of us is not only that of the pastor, but also of laughter»Remembers the IRG.
Among the recommendations made in the report is the simplification of bureaucratic procedures for those who wish to report abuse safely; Continuity in investigation, greater compassion for victims and high-level professional help for those in need. The purpose of the report, can we still read, “Do not praise or despise; The intention is to use the experience of others to determine what works and what needs to be improved ”. Irg Thus urging them to work with all of them “Courage and willingness to learn “.
Support for victims, top priority
The investigation group’s report also confirms that “Supporting survivors should be a top priority for the Catholic Church in Scotland, as it will be nothing more than affirmative and determined action to address the needs of survivors and restore the Church’s public credibility and bring peace to it..
IRG members urged the Scottish bishops to draft a specific document, based on which the update was made “The principles and practices of protection developed in recent years to clarify the policy and practice of the Church in relation to the survivors ”. The Church of Scotland should ultimately strengthen external security and genuine independence in the protection of the Church and policies and practices. “The Church has no other way of concealing itself and avoiding suspicion of keeping it a secret, which has caused her great harm.Notes the report. The difficult but necessary decision he specifies.
A consistent and solid theory of security personnel, ultimately requested by the independent investigative group: “No Catholic can be left as to the importance of safeguarding suspicion: it should be at the center of the administration of the Church, of its worship and its theology; This should be a fixed point in every meeting of the Episcopal Conference and every diocesan meeting. Specifies the report.
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