Foreword

The Report

A Review of the Current Safeguarding Policies, Procedures and Practice within the Catholic Church in Scotland

The McLellan Commission published its Report on 18th August and has made eight key recommendations to Scotland's Catholic Bishops to improve the current standards of safeguarding within the Catholic Church.

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Foreword

No member of the Commission sought this task and for all of us it has been demanding. Serving on the Commission could not be described as a happy experience since our business has been with pain, anger, guilt and cruelty. Yet our business has also been with courage, forgiveness, healing and service. We have met people whom we admire and people whom we respect. But for some of us, the most formative experiences have been the opportunities to listen to survivors.

If it has not been a happy experience, it has been an extremely positive one. Positive because of the help we received from almost everyone from whom we sought help; positive because of the many Catholics we met who have given much of their lives to help make the Catholic Church a safe place and who are distressed and angry about any cover-up and positive because of the readiness of all those in the Catholic Church to support our work. At almost no time were we conscious of any hint of difficulty being put in the way of our work by anyone within or outside the Church. The most positive feature of our work, however, has been the commitment, thoughtfulness and helpfulness of every member of the Commission. I am very much in their debt, and if our Report can do anything to make the Catholic Church safer and make Scotland safer, then others will be in their debt as well.

I want to record the thanks of the members of the Commission to Dr David McAllister, the Secretary to the Commission, whose gift of administration was essential to the completion of our task, and to Irene McIntosh, who served us very well in terms of recording our meetings.

Andrew McLellan
August 2015

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