2016-12-06 13:36:00

Move to Further Improve Safeguarding Standards in Scotland

(Vatican Radio) The bishops of Scotland are implementing measures in order to further improve the standards of safeguarding the welfare of people involved with the Church.

The Bishops’ Conference of Scotland has recently established an independent Review Group that will consider the Scottish Church’s existing safeguarding policies, with an aim of making any possible improvements.

This week, the appointment of the first chairperson of the Review Group was announced. Baroness Helen Liddell is a veteran member of the UK Labour Party and was a member of former Prime Minister Tony Blair’s cabinet. She will appoint the members of the group and oversee the Church’s efforts to take care of survivors of abuse.

The former Secretary of State for Scotland said the Review Group will include “safeguarding professionals, specialists in the evaluation of organisations, a representative of Police Scotland and a canon lawyer.” Speaking about the work of the group, she added: “Judge us by our actions.”

The announcement comes after members of the McLellan Commission suggested that recommendations from its 2015 report were not being implemented appropriately.

Vatican Radio’s Ryan Black spoke with the Assistant General Secretary of the Bishops’ Conference, Fr Thomas Boyle, about the announcement, and about the Church’s efforts to implement the recommendations of the McLellan Commission’s report.


Announcing the appointment, the president of the Bishops’ Conference, Archbishop Philip Tartaglia, explained that the bishops knew it was important to appoint a chairperson of “national stature and proven competence”, and that in Baroness Liddell “these qualities are perfectly met.”

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