Statement from the Scottish bishops

Bishops of Scotland

Scotland’s hierarchy with Bishop Hugh Gilbert, who attended the Vatican summit in the front row extreme right.

By Bill Heaney

The Dumbarton Democrat has two reports in this issue on clerical child abuse.

One is a special report on the conviction of Cardinal George Pell in Melbourne, Australia, for the abuse of two choirboys in St Patrick’s Cathedral, Melbourne.

The now disgraced Cardinal was invited to Glasgow ten years ago to evangelise and breathe new life into the Church in Scotland, which was losing members because of the child abuse scandal which was going on even then.

The other is a report from the specially convened summit in the Vatican to allow Pope Francis to discuss the matters with bishops and cardinals from across the world.

Today, a spokesperson for the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland said: “In his concluding remarks on the recent Vatican summit, Pope Francis said: ‘The best results and the most effective resolution that we can offer to the victims, to the People of Holy Mother Church and to the entire world, are the commitment to personal and collective conversion, the humility of learning, listening, assisting and protecting the most vulnerable’. The Pope also reminded us, that ‘we are dealing with abominable crimes that must be erased from the face of the earth’.”

The Church spokesman added: “The President of the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland, Bishop Hugh Gilbert, attended the summit in Rome, together with Bishops from across the world.

“They repeated and endorsed their condemnation of abuse wherever and whenever it has happened within the Church.

“They also shared best practice and learned from one another, while renewing their commitment to protect and safeguard everyone in our parish communities.

“Reassuringly, the procedures being followed by the Church in Scotland are in line with the final recommendations made by the summit.

“While renewing its apology to anyone who has suffered the Catholic Church stresses its commitment to the essential work of safeguarding across our parish communities.”

  • The Pell conviction report can be accessed by clicking on Special Reports on the HOME page. The report from Rome by using the SEARCH tool.

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