17 December 2014, The Tablet

Scottish priests face new abuse claims

Twenty-two allegations of abuse were made against members of the Church in Scotland last year, according to a new safeguarding report. They included complaints about sexual, physical, emotional and verbal abuse by priests, Religious and volunteers.

Last year, the Church published safeguarding audits covering six years. This new document is the first annual report of Scotland’s eight dioceses. 

Of the 22 allegations 15 were sexual, with 12 clerics accused of allegations of criminal behaviour reported to the police. Five cases are with the Procurator Fiscal although to date no allegation has led to a criminal prosecution.

The report also states that as a result of the allegations five priests and Religious have either been removed from ministry or placed on restricted ministry.

Meanwhile, an independent review of the Church’s safeguarding procedures, being undertaken by a team led by Dr Andrew McLellan, is due to be published next year.

Archbishop Emeritus of Glasgow, Mario Conti, revealed in The Tablet last year that the former leader of Scotland’s Catholics, Cardinal Keith O’Brien, had blocked earlier plans to have an independent safeguarding audit. O’Brien stood down as Archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh last year following allegations of sexual misconduct.


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