Archive for May 23rd, 2014

Ian Elliott: Safeguarding Requires a Shift in Church Power Balance

In his latest Blog Ian Elliott writes:

‘Increased accountability means increased transparency combined with greater lay involvement, and more professionalism in the safeguarding decisions made in the Church. It also means a shift in the power balance within the Church through the introduction of an accountability framework that is robust, independent of the hierarchy, and itself subject to scrutiny. None of this should be unachievable if there is sufficient will for it to happen.’

This is the nub of the issue of accountability and safeguarding. The monarchical principle in the church – the principle by which a bishop governs – abhors any separation of power, and a safety-monitoring body must have considerable separation from the authority that appoints clergy if it is to be effective. If the authority that appoints clergy is, even indirectly, the authority that also appoints the officials who monitor child safeguarding, then there is no real independence, merely another facade. Who can have confidence in such a system?”

By Sean O’Conaill, VOTF Ireland — Click here to read the rest of this blog post.

Ian Elliott only recently retired from his position as the first chief executive officer of the National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church in Ireland, a post he assumed in 2007. He now offers consulting services in safeguarding management, policy review and practice.

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Second UN Panel Criticizes Vatican on Sex Abuse / The Boston Globe

For the second time, a United Nations panel has criticized the Vatican for its response to the child sexual abuse scandals in the Catholic Church, charging it with failing to mandate that abuse charges be reported to police, moving clergy to evade discipline, and failing to see that victims obtain adequate compensation.

“‘Clergy … were transferred to other dioceses and institutions where they remained in contact with minors and others who are vulnerable,’ the United Nations Committee against Torture charged in a new report, ‘and in some cases committed abuse in their subsequent placements.’

“The report follows a similar indictment from the Committee on the Rights of the Child that appeared in February, which asserted that the Vatican had fostered ‘impunity’ for abusers.”

By John L. Allen, Jr., The Boston Globe — Click here to read the rest of this story.

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