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.