For immediate release
29 August 2014

New closing date for contributions to The McLellan Commission

Anyone who has used or participated in Safeguarding processes, including but not solely, survivors of harm and abuse, within the Catholic Church in Scotland, now has until 30 September 2014 to contact The McLellan Commission.

The Commission, chaired by the Very Reverend Dr Andrew McLellan, CBE, is conducting an external review of safeguarding protocols and procedures within the Scottish Catholic Church.

Although it is not within the scope of the Commission to investigate or adjudicate on current or historical allegations, the Commission is taking account of the experiences of survivors of harm and abuse within the Church in order to draw on such experiences in identifying what aspects of the approach to Safeguarding within the Church have helped or hindered matters being raised and addressed.

Survivors of abuse and other interested parties can get in touch and leave contributions and submissions that they wish to bring to the Commission’s attention for review within the terms of their Remit on the secure and confidential area on The McLellan Commission website.  Alternatively they can write to the Commission direct.

All submissions will be treated as confidential, but in order to ensure that all submissions are genuine they must be accompanied by a name, address and date of birth. Anonymous submissions will not be read and cannot be accepted by the Commission.

Dr McLellan commented:

“We have extended the period until 30 September 2014 to encourage wider participation of all interested parties within the Catholic Church to get in touch in order to obtain a full and clear picture of the way in which Safeguarding practices in the Catholic Church have operated in the past and how they currently work.”

In addition to evaluating existing systems and arrangements, Commissioners are meeting with a range of interested parties within and beyond the Catholic Church and listening to expert opinion on best practice in safeguarding children and vulnerable people.

While the final report is not due to be delivered until the summer of 2015, if any areas of immediate concern or action arise during the course of its work, the Commission has agreed a process with the Catholic Church in Scotland on how these will be progressed more urgently.  The Commission also urges anyone with information of a criminal nature to get in touch direct with Police Scotland.

The confidential questionnaire can be found at The McLellan Commission website www.mclellancommision.co.uk

Ends

For further media information, please contact
Christina Kelly, Golley Slater
0141 204 7800 / 0131 220 8787
07875 881955
Christina.kelly@golleyslater.co.uk

Notes to Editors

1. Background to the McLellan Commission
The Bishops’ Conference of Scotland, Scotland’s Catholic Bishops, announced on 24 November 2013 that they were instigating a range of safeguarding initiatives.

In a spirit of openness and transparency, the three initiatives were announced in a letter read out at all of Scotland’s 500 Catholic parishes. The initiatives are:

  • an immediate publication of all Diocesan Safeguarding Audits from 2006-2012, giving a statistical breakdown of reported safeguarding incidents during those years.
  • a professional external “Review of Safeguarding Protocols and Procedures”, which will review the suitability and robustness of safeguarding procedures.
  • a Statistical Review of all Historic Cases of Abuse from 1947-2005

The “Review of Safeguarding Protocols and Procedures” is known as The McLellan Commission.

2. Remit
The remit can be found at:
http://www.mclellancommission.co.uk/the-remit

3.  Web address
Further information can be found at:
www.mclellancommission.co.uk

4. Postal address for written submissions
David McAllister
The McLellan Commission
Centrum House
38 Queen Street
Glasgow
G1 3DX