Baroness Liddell and Archbishop Philip Tartaglia
The Bishops’ Conference of Scotland has today announced that Baroness Helen Liddell will be the first ever Chair of the Independent Review Group (IRG) an autonomous body, which will function separately from the Church and which will review safeguarding standards and carry out independent audits.
Announcing the appointment, Archbishop 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.
Do we define ourselves by 'likes' and 'follows'?
It’s been quite a journey for social media over the last
several years. From meagre beginnings it
has become the mainstay of human contact, the go-to means of communication. It has, in many respects, been a revolution
of seismic proportions and there are very few individuals who can say that they
don’t have a Facebook account or haven’t at least been touched by its power.
And it’s not only on a personal level that social media has
heralded meteoric change in communications.
Jo Cox in the House of Commons
The death of Labour MP Jo Cox has shocked not only the world
of politics in which she worked, but also the British nation as a whole. The horror of what happened in the town of Birstall
last Thursday will be a permanent scar for the MP’s family and is something
they will have to live with for the rest of their lives.
But what does it mean for the relationship between MPs and
the general public? Scottish Secretary
David Mundell, who has himself received death threats, lamented the influence
of social media in relations between the public and MPs, criticising the
“vitriol” that is often expressed towards politicians.
I am astonishedand no less disappointed to see that few of
the major UK news outlets have covered yesterday’s House of Commons vote, when
MPs voted 278 – 0 in favour of declaring ISIS/Daesh atrocities against
Christians and Yazidis as genocide.
If the Holocaust were to occur today, would the media recognise
the atrocity and label it as genocide?
If the massacre of Srebrenica were to occur today, would the media
recognise the suffering people of the city and label it as genocide? And what about Rwanda in 1994?
When will the West listen?
A motion is to be put before the UK Parliament next week calling on the House to recognise that Christians and other minority groups in the Middle East are facing genocide.
The terror being wrought by ISIS is well known to all, though the fact that it is mainly targeted towards Christians is not so well documented in the West.
This is an opportunity for the UK government to take a stand against ISIS by declaring their actions to be a genocide against Christians, Yazidis and other religious minorities.
The Church will implement all recommendations
from the McLellan Report
Peter Kearney, Director of the Scottish Catholic Media
Office, has called for fairness by the media in reporting the issue of child
abuse in the Catholic Church.
Mr Kearney suggests that official figures show that the
problem in the Church is tiny compared to the problem as a whole across
Scotland. Indeed, it is believed that
only 0.3% of abuse complaints over the past ten years were against Catholic
clergy and volunteers.
As we embark on another Holy Week we cast our hearts and minds back to Christ's persecution at the hands of his executioners. Jesus' Passion was a horrific and exhausting episode filled with hate, violence, abuse, blood and gore. All directed at one person.
The culmination of this hatred and violence was death on a cross. Left to hang in shame, to be gawped at by the very people he loved and was sent to save.
But thankfully, this death on a cross was not the end.
The Catholic Church in Scotland is committed to ending abuse
The vast majority of people have welcomed the publication of the McLellan Commission Report into abuse within the Catholic Church in Scotland. The vast majority of people have similarly welcomed the Church's unequivocal apology for its own failings with respect to abuse. However, I have been dismayed to see that a small minority do not share this view.
The Church, having itself requested this independent Commission be set up, wants to right the wrongs of the past as best it can.
The Catholic Church in Scotland has made a profound apology to victims of abuse saying “We say sorry. We ask forgiveness.”
The apology coincides with the anticipated independent McLellan Commission Report into abuse in the Catholic Church in Scotland, a report which has today received widespread support from Church hierarchy who have committed to accepting its recommendations in full.
At Mass in St Andrew’s Cathedral in Glasgow, Archbishop Philip Tartaglia formally responded to the contents of the report on behalf of the Bishops of Scotland.
The McLellan Commission Report, compiled on the instructions of the Catholic Church in Scotland has been released and can be accessed using the link, below.
We will have more reaction to this in due course.