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AUGUST 5 2011 THE CATHOLIC HERALD
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Baroness calls for support for priests
BY MADELEINE TEAHAN
THE CHAIRWOMAN of the National Catholic Safeguarding Commission (NCSC) for England and Wales has called on Catholics to provide priests with better emotional and social support after reporting a twofold increase in allegations of clerical abuse.
Baroness Scotland of Asthal, a Catholic, said that ministry was a, “two-way street”, and that “one of the things that came out very strongly from research is that those who abuse have often seen themselves as being very lonely, isolated and unsupported emotionally”.
Baroness Scotland said: “We all live very busy, full lives. The priests and religious people are people too – they need friendship and comfort and someone to have a glass of wine with and watch the football or whatever it is. That is something that people sometimes forget. It is a twoway process.”
The annual report by the NCSC, released last week, disclosed a significant increase in allegations, with 92 received in 2010 compared to 43 in 2009 and 51 in 2008. Of these 46 were dismissed after investigations by the statutory authorities and 41 remain under investigation. One resulted in a police caution, two in court hearings and two in prison sentences. “The increases of abuse relate primarily to incidents occurring in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s,” the report said.
Baroness Scotland, the former Attorney General, attributed the notable rise in allegations to the papal visit and the dialogue that the Pope’s visit encouraged.
The NCSC said in its report that it was “both challenged and heartened by the fact that last year and, in particular, following the Pope’s visit, more people have felt confident enough to come forward to report incidents of abuse in the hope of finding some kind of reconciliation and closure”.
Baroness Scotland said that all human beings, including priests, have emotional and social needs and argued that intimacy, rather than isolation, should be a key part of the formation process. While she emphasised that understanding of abuse must be holistic as it affects all of society, she said that shock and grief at revelations of abuse were particularly painful within the Church as many mistakenly believed that those who “put on the priestly garb” would be free from the “general flaws of humanity”. Baroness Scotland praised Benedict XVI’s
Baroness Scotland has praised Benedict XVI’s efforts to tackle the abuse crisis Mazur/catholicchurch.org.uk approach to the handling of the abuse crisis, saying that the Pope allowed abuse victims the opportunity to be heard.
She said that Pope Benedict’s meeting with victims during his visit was “a very good example of leadership and demonstrated the pastoral care that he hoped others would emulate”.
She said there had been “no lack of energy” from Pope Benedict in addressing the issue of clerical abuse, highlighting his amendments to the Church’s penal process since 2001.
She said: “Rome is being very robust in terms of what it expects from each diocese,’ and the Catholic Church in England and Wales are in full support of this approach.”
She added: “If there is one person abused in this country my feeling is that that is one person too many. Our job is not done until abuse is eradicated.”
But members of support group Ministers and Clergy
Sexual Abuse Survivors (MACSAS) accused the NCSC’s report of lacking transparency and described its “growing sense of incredulity and anger” at the report.
“Whilst the Catholic Church continues to aggressively seek to avoid any responsibility, either moral or legal, for the abuse perpetrated by its priests and religious in England and Wales, statements suggesting that the Church wishes to respond appropriately to victims, as set out within the NCSC report, are completely hypocritical,” a statement said.
Anne Lawrence, co-chairman of MACSAS, said in an open letter to Archbishop Vincent Nichols of Westminster that it was “a great shame that survivor groups and organisations were not provided with a copy of this report or invited to the press conference for its launch given the focus on the Catholic Church, stated efforts to work with survivors”.
She said: “Actions speak louder than words and so far very little actions have come from the Catholic Church’s in responding appropriately to victims.”
The NCSC’s report has also been criticised by Chris Saltrese, a Catholic solicitor from Southport, Lancashire, who specialises in representing people who say they were falsely accused of abuse. He said the report glossed over the likelihood that a large number of the claims were not credible.
“Away from the pieties and breast-beating the most telling part of the report lies hidden in plain view relegated to an appendix and that is that during 2009 and 2010 there were ... 70 statutory investigations into abuse allegations which led to not a single conviction,” he said. “That not one of 70 allegations met the very low evidential test sufficient for prosecution and conviction should make (the commission) pause for thought. But not so.”
Bishop Declan Lang and Sister Jane Bertelsen, vice chairs of the NCSC, said: “The NCSC re-iterates that one of its main priorities is to work with survivor groups.
“We wish to better understand victims of sexual abuse and to continue to refine our procedures so that the support individuals are given by the Church better meets their individual needs.
“We are in regular dialogue with survivor groups, including MACSAS, and are currently involved in a number of initiatives around training for our safeguarding personnel and developing information packs to give to victims when they approach the Church all of which help us take this work forward.
“We are only too aware that we are a long way from where we would like to be, and that there is much work to be done. We are committed to do all we can to make our Church a safer and more open place for those who have been hurt to share their story and find healing and reconciliation.”
Parents in uproar over removal of headteacher
BY ED WEST
A HEADMASTER at a Catholic primary school has resigned after restraining an autistic pupil, despite receiving the support of the boy’s mother and father and other parents.
James Gallogly, head of St Benedict’s Catholic primary school in Wilmslow, Cheshire, left after governors questioned his discipline methods towards the highly disturbed eight-year-old.
It was claimed that Mr Gallogly, 45, grabbed the unnamed boy and pinned him against the wall in the classroom last January.
The boy has a history of behavioural problems at school and was later suspended for allegedly spitting and biting a teacher and throwing a chair at staff. Mr Gallogy resigned his post following an investigation into his methods, during which he was suspended on full pay. It was prompted by a complaint from a colleague who witnessed the incident. But, the parents of the boy gave Mr
Gallogly his full support and his resignation has led to anger from parents.
More than 100 parents in the 160-pupil school signed a petition asking the governors to reinstate him for the good of the school and pupils when the governors refused about 20 children were removed by parents. Among those were the parents of the boy who wrote a letter in support of Mr Gallogly and demanded his reinstatement. They also helped organise the petition and have withdrawn their other children, a 10-year-old girls and a seven-year-old boy, from the school.
The boy’s 28-year-old mother said: “We wrote a letter in support of Mr Gallogly because we don’t believe that he’s done anything [wrong]. This situation is a disgrace and the treatment of Mr Gallogly is appalling.”
The boy’s father, 45, said that they “knew [their son] is difficult. We were called in to school to be told [their son] was involved in the allegations against Mr Gallogly, but the communication we’ve had since has been terrible. We don’t even know when this alleged incident is supposed to have taken place.”
The boy’s mother said his education had suffered and his behaviour had deteriorated.
A joint statement from the Diocese of Shrewsbury and Cheshire East Council a spokesman said: “The school governors acted immediately and responsibly as soon as these matters were reported to them. While the school has experienced some unsettled periods during this time, we now look forward to a fresh and consistent leadership for the future.”
Debbie McCann, chairwoman of the governors, said: “As soon as the issue was brought to our attention, we immediately ensured the headteacher was out of school and commissioned a full investigation. At the point this was concluded the headteacher chose to resign. We have appointed an experienced acting headteacher.”
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SOLEMN MASS Sundays at 10.30am VESPERS & BENEDICTION Sundays at 6.30pm
FORTHCOMING EVENTS SATURDAY 17 SEPTEMBER LAUNCH OF THE BLESSED JOHN HENRY NEWMAN INSTITUTE OF LITURGICAL MUSIC 9.30am Registration and inaugural address by Fr Guy Nicholls, Director of the Institute 11am Sung Pilgrim Mass. Celebrant & Preacher: Rt Rev. Bernard Longley, Archbishop of Birmingham For further information: please phone 0121 454 0808 or visit www.oratorymusic.org.uk FEAST OF BLESSED JOHN HENRY NEWMAN TRANSFERRED TO SATURDAY, 8TH OCTOBER
First Vespers – Friday, 7th October Solemn High Mass – Saturday, 8th October With the Solemn Procession and Installation of the New Reliquary. Celebrant & Preacher: Rt Rev. Mark Davies, Bishop of Shrewsbury
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Bishop Hollis tells clergy he has bowel cancer Catholic teaching assistant jailed for guns in wardrobe
BY DANIEL COPPEN
BISHOP Crispian Hollis of Portsmouth has announced in a letter to his clergy that he has been diagnosed with bowel cancer.
The 74-year-old bishop, who is soon to retire, had been diagnosed with the disease after a CT scan in midJune at the Queen Alexandria (QA) hospital, Portsmouth.
Bishop Hollis said the scan had revealed a cancer “which is probably malignant”. A biopsy and MRI scan will be carried out in early August, he said.
The bishop will most likely have to undergo major surgery to remove the tumour, which would take place in September.
He has said that before then he still hoped to join the diocesan pilgrimage to Lourdes on August 21-27.
Previously struggling with other health problems during the year, the bishop said he had already been spending much of his time in hospital.
Bishop Hollis said in his letter: “I would be very grateful for your support and prayers, together with the prayers of all in the diocese.”
The grandson of an Anglican bishop and son of a Catholic convert, Bishop Hollis was born in Bristol and appointed as auxiliary bishop of the Oxfordshire area in 1987. Two years later he was assigned to Portsmouth.
He has served as Bishop of Portsmouth for 22 years. The road outside St John’s Cathedral was renamed Bishop Crispian Way earlier this year to mark his nearing retirement.
In his letter the bishop wrote: “You will all know that I have been struggling a bit this year with health problems and I seem to have been spending a great deal of time in surgery waiting rooms and the QA hospital.
“To cut a long story short, I was given a CT scan at the QA in the middle of June and I have now received the results, which are not very good.
“The scan has revealed cancer of the bowel, which is probably malignant, though that has yet to be definitively confirmed by biopsy on Monday August 1 and an MRI scan on August 2.
“Whatever the results of the tests may be, it is likely that I will have to face major surgery sometime in September. Between now and then, I will be spending my time between Portsmouth and Somerset though I hope to join the diocesan pilgrimage to Lourdes from August 21 till August 27.
“I will, of course, keep you as informed as I can about what is happening, but, in the meantime, I would be very grateful for your support and prayers, together with the prayers of all in the diocese.”
BY MADELEINE TEAHAN
A CATHOLIC teaching assistant has been jailed for eight years after she helped to hide a supply of firearms at her home in south Manchester.
Kimberley Bray was accused of using her job at St Paul’s Catholic High School in Wythenshawe, Manchester, as a “cloak of respectability” to hide a shocking private life.
Philip Curran, prosecuting, told Manchester Crown Court that Bray was “without doubt a hard-working and committed person. But when she gets home it’s a very different environment – another life”.
Her home was raided in January following an ongoing investigation into an incident in the area in which a 24-yearold man was shot in the leg.
Bray, 45, a grandmother, answered the door to officers and her boyfriend, former pub owner Paul Taylor, 46, was found in bed. Underneath the duvet next to him was a 12gauge Benelli semi-automatic shotgun and a 9mm Glock pistol thought to be have been imported from America.
Officers also recovered a 9mm Tariq pistol and a Skorpion sub-machine gun from a wardrobe and found a cannabis farm.
Investigations disclosed that the guns had been used in shootings across the North West over the past decade. Police were able to trace the guns back to five incidents reaching as far back as 2004. The Skorpion had been used when gangsters opened fire through a car sunroof in the city last year and a baby boy was nearly killed when the Tariq was fired near Rochdale.
Bray denied all charges of firearms possession, claiming that her boyfriend Taylor slept on the right side of the bed, which was the side of the bedroom where the majority of bullets and guns were found.
Bray said: “I didn’t know what Mr Taylor was doing. The first time I saw those guns was when you brought me into this courtroom. I would never, never be into drugs or violence or condone them. I teach the kids at school to just stand out from the crowd and be nice.”
Judge Michael Henshell said: “You lived in a warehouse for weapons with men coming and going at all hours. You knew what was going on and you were relied on to keep quiet. None of them were concealed and you would have to have been going round the house blindfolded not to notice them. People are shot, injured and killed on an almost daily basis in this city, often by guns stored by people such as you.”
Taylor pleaded guilty to possession of firearms and ammunition, possession of firearms with intent to endanger life and production of a Class B drug. He was jailed for 17 years.
NEWSBULLETIN Order of Malta appoints new Grand Prior of England THE ORDER of Malta has elected a new Grand Prior of England at a ceremony held at the Church of St Birinus in Dorchester-onThames.
Prior since the order was established at Clerkenwell in 1101.
Ian Scott of Ardross of the Scottish Highlands became the 57th Grand Prior, succeeding Fra’ Fredrik Crichton-Stuart who died in June.
He becomes only the second Scottish Grand
The Grand Priory of England was suppressed in the reign of Queen Elizabeth I and only reestablished in this country in 1993. The current leader of the Order of Malta is Fra’ Matthew Festing, from Northumberland, the third Briton to hold the position.
Group debunks euthanasia myths THE PRO-LIFE pressure group Right to Life has published a leaflet on euthanasia ahead of the autumn final report by Lord Falconer’s Commission on Assisted Dying.
The leaflet, entitled Facts on Euthanasia that Dignity in Dying will not Disclose to You, will be offered free to churches in Britain. It contains 15 facts aimed at debunking myths about euthanasia and assisted suicide.
Right to Life also says the Falconer Commission is biased given that it is funded by the former Voluntary Euthanasia Society, Dignity in Dying (DID, the former Voluntary Euthanasia Society), and euthanasia campaigner and novelist Terry Pratchett.
Phyllis Bowman of Right to Life said: “It is absolutely vital that people are properly informed on the issue and prepared to act when the Commission reports. We know that their friends in the media will help to promote the report as if it were Gospel truth.”
New editor for LMS magazine THE LATIN Mass Society has appointed Gregory Murphy as the new editor of Mass of Ages, its quarterly magazine. Mr Murphy, 44, of Liverpool, has 20 years of experience as a journalist and PR consultant. He worked at the Catholic Pictorial and served as the editor of the Catholic Times during the 1990s.
Mass for Amy Winehouse A MASS for Amy Winehouse was celebrated on Monday at Our Lady Help of Christians Church in Kentish Town, London.
Parish priest Fr Tom Forde, said: “Amy lived in our parish and many people have been very affected by her death.”
The singer, 27, died at her home last month.
The Big Silence DVD competition WE have five DVDs of the popular BBC series The Big Silence to give away. To win one of the five copies, kindly provided by Tiger Aspect Productions, send us a postcard marked “Big Silence competition” telling us which Benedictine priest accompanied the five seekers throughout the series. The winners will be announced later this month.
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