THE Archbishop Emeritus of Glasgow, the Most Revd Mario Conti,
suggested last week that an examination of historic abuse cases in
the Scottish RC Church was delayed after objections were raised by
Cardinal Keith O'Brien.
In a letter to The Tablet, published last Friday,
Archbishop Conti said that "all but one member" of the Catholic
Bishops' Conference of Scotland had in recent years intended "to
commission an independent examination of the historical cases we
had on file in all of our respective dioceses, and publish the
This had, however, been "delayed by the ob-jection of the
then-President of the Conference", Cardinal O'Brien, the former
Archbishop of St Andrews & Edinburgh, who stood down earlier
this year after admitting that his "sexual conduct" had "fallen
below the standards expected" (
News, 8 March). Archbishop Conti's letter went on to say that
"without full participation of all the dioceses, the exercise would
have been faulty."
The Scottish Catholic Media Office said in a statement last
Friday that, at a meeting in June, the Bishops' Conference "agreed
to publish the existing National Audits conducted by the National
Safeguarding Office. These audits draw together the work of the
Diocesan Safeguarding Offices in any one calendar year, beginning
in 2006. It is hoped to publish these audits late in the autumn of
2013. They will contain all the aspects of the work of the eight
dioceses of the Church in Scotland with regard to safeguarding, and
will detail any complaints made about clergy, church workers,
volunteers, or anyone else, and how these complaints were dealt
"Prior to 2006 there was no National Audit, and so at present
renewed consideration is being given to how the statistics which
exist for the earlier years can be drawn together and published.
The Church remains willing to engage in any process that allows
lessons to be learned and survivors to be supported."