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AUGUST 5 2011 THE CATHOLIC HERALD
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Baroness calls for support for priests
BY MADELEINE TEAHAN
THE CHAIRWOMAN of the National Catholic Safeguarding Commission (NCSC) for England and Wales has called on Catholics to provide priests with better emotional and social support after reporting a twofold increase in allegations of clerical abuse.
Baroness Scotland of Asthal, a Catholic, said that ministry was a, “two-way street”, and that “one of the things that came out very strongly from research is that those who abuse have often seen themselves as being very lonely, isolated and unsupported emotionally”.
Baroness Scotland said: “We all live very busy, full lives. The priests and religious people are people too – they need friendship and comfort and someone to have a glass of wine with and watch the football or whatever it is. That is something that people sometimes forget. It is a twoway process.”
The annual report by the NCSC, released last week, disclosed a significant increase in allegations, with 92 received in 2010 compared to 43 in 2009 and 51 in 2008. Of these 46 were dismissed after investigations by the statutory authorities and 41 remain under investigation. One resulted in a police caution, two in court hearings and two in prison sentences. “The increases of abuse relate primarily to incidents occurring in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s,” the report said.
Baroness Scotland, the former Attorney General, attributed the notable rise in allegations to the papal visit and the dialogue that the Pope’s visit encouraged.
The NCSC said in its report that it was “both challenged and heartened by the fact that last year and, in particular, following the Pope’s visit, more people have felt confident enough to come forward to report incidents of abuse in the hope of finding some kind of reconciliation and closure”.
Baroness Scotland said that all human beings, including priests, have emotional and social needs and argued that intimacy, rather than isolation, should be a key part of the formation process. While she emphasised that understanding of abuse must be holistic as it affects all of society, she said that shock and grief at revelations of abuse were particularly painful within the Church as many mistakenly believed that those who “put on the priestly garb” would be free from the “general flaws of humanity”. Baroness Scotland praised Benedict XVI’s
Baroness Scotland has praised Benedict XVI’s efforts to tackle the abuse crisis Mazur/catholicchurch.org.uk approach to the handling of the abuse crisis, saying that the Pope allowed abuse victims the opportunity to be heard.
She said that Pope Benedict’s meeting with victims during his visit was “a very good example of leadership and demonstrated the pastoral care that he hoped others would emulate”.
She said there had been “no lack of energy” from Pope Benedict in addressing the issue of clerical abuse, highlighting his amendments to the Church’s penal process since 2001.
She said: “Rome is being very robust in terms of what it expects from each diocese,’ and the Catholic Church in England and Wales are in full support of this approach.”
She added: “If there is one person abused in this country my feeling is that that is one person too many. Our job is not done until abuse is eradicated.”
But members of support group Ministers and Clergy
Sexual Abuse Survivors (MACSAS) accused the NCSC’s report of lacking transparency and described its “growing sense of incredulity and anger” at the report.
“Whilst the Catholic Church continues to aggressively seek to avoid any responsibility, either moral or legal, for the abuse perpetrated by its priests and religious in England and Wales, statements suggesting that the Church wishes to respond appropriately to victims, as set out within the NCSC report, are completely hypocritical,” a statement said.
Anne Lawrence, co-chairman of MACSAS, said in an open letter to Archbishop Vincent Nichols of Westminster that it was “a great shame that survivor groups and organisations were not provided with a copy of this report or invited to the press conference for its launch given the focus on the Catholic Church, stated efforts to work with survivors”.
She said: “Actions speak louder than words and so far very little actions have come from the Catholic Church’s in responding appropriately to victims.”
The NCSC’s report has also been criticised by Chris Saltrese, a Catholic solicitor from Southport, Lancashire, who specialises in representing people who say they were falsely accused of abuse. He said the report glossed over the likelihood that a large number of the claims were not credible.
“Away from the pieties and breast-beating the most telling part of the report lies hidden in plain view relegated to an appendix and that is that during 2009 and 2010 there were ... 70 statutory investigations into abuse allegations which led to not a single conviction,” he said. “That not one of 70 allegations met the very low evidential test sufficient for prosecution and conviction should make (the commission) pause for thought. But not so.”
Bishop Declan Lang and Sister Jane Bertelsen, vice chairs of the NCSC, said: “The NCSC re-iterates that one of its main priorities is to work with survivor groups.
“We wish to better understand victims of sexual abuse and to continue to refine our procedures so that the support individuals are given by the Church better meets their individual needs.
“We are in regular dialogue with survivor groups, including MACSAS, and are currently involved in a number of initiatives around training for our safeguarding personnel and developing information packs to give to victims when they approach the Church all of which help us take this work forward.
“We are only too aware that we are a long way from where we would like to be, and that there is much work to be done. We are committed to do all we can to make our Church a safer and more open place for those who have been hurt to share their story and find healing and reconciliation.”
Parents in uproar over removal of headteacher
BY ED WEST
A HEADMASTER at a Catholic primary school has resigned after restraining an autistic pupil, despite receiving the support of the boy’s mother and father and other parents.
James Gallogly, head of St Benedict’s Catholic primary school in Wilmslow, Cheshire, left after governors questioned his discipline methods towards the highly disturbed eight-year-old.
It was claimed that Mr Gallogly, 45, grabbed the unnamed boy and pinned him against the wall in the classroom last January.
The boy has a history of behavioural problems at school and was later suspended for allegedly spitting and biting a teacher and throwing a chair at staff. Mr Gallogy resigned his post following an investigation into his methods, during which he was suspended on full pay. It was prompted by a complaint from a colleague who witnessed the incident. But, the parents of the boy gave Mr
Gallogly his full support and his resignation has led to anger from parents.
More than 100 parents in the 160-pupil school signed a petition asking the governors to reinstate him for the good of the school and pupils when the governors refused about 20 children were removed by parents. Among those were the parents of the boy who wrote a letter in support of Mr Gallogly and demanded his reinstatement. They also helped organise the petition and have withdrawn their other children, a 10-year-old girls and a seven-year-old boy, from the school.
The boy’s 28-year-old mother said: “We wrote a letter in support of Mr Gallogly because we don’t believe that he’s done anything [wrong]. This situation is a disgrace and the treatment of Mr Gallogly is appalling.”
The boy’s father, 45, said that they “knew [their son] is difficult. We were called in to school to be told [their son] was involved in the allegations against Mr Gallogly, but the communication we’ve had since has been terrible. We don’t even know when this alleged incident is supposed to have taken place.”
The boy’s mother said his education had suffered and his behaviour had deteriorated.
A joint statement from the Diocese of Shrewsbury and Cheshire East Council a spokesman said: “The school governors acted immediately and responsibly as soon as these matters were reported to them. While the school has experienced some unsettled periods during this time, we now look forward to a fresh and consistent leadership for the future.”
Debbie McCann, chairwoman of the governors, said: “As soon as the issue was brought to our attention, we immediately ensured the headteacher was out of school and commissioned a full investigation. At the point this was concluded the headteacher chose to resign. We have appointed an experienced acting headteacher.”
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Bishop Hollis tells clergy he has bowel cancer Catholic teaching assistant jailed for guns in wardrobe
BY DANIEL COPPEN
BISHOP Crispian Hollis of Portsmouth has announced in a letter to his clergy that he has been diagnosed with bowel cancer.
The 74-year-old bishop, who is soon to retire, had been diagnosed with the disease after a CT scan in midJune at the Queen Alexandria (QA) hospital, Portsmouth.
Bishop Hollis said the scan had revealed a cancer “which is probably malignant”. A biopsy and MRI scan will be carried out in early August, he said.
The bishop will most likely have to undergo major surgery to remove the tumour, which would take place in September.
He has said that before then he still hoped to join the diocesan pilgrimage to Lourdes on August 21-27.
Previously struggling with other health problems during the year, the bishop said he had already been spending much of his time in hospital.
Bishop Hollis said in his letter: “I would be very grateful for your support and prayers, together with the prayers of all in the diocese.”
The grandson of an Anglican bishop and son of a Catholic convert, Bishop Hollis was born in Bristol and appointed as auxiliary bishop of the Oxfordshire area in 1987. Two years later he was assigned to Portsmouth.
He has served as Bishop of Portsmouth for 22 years. The road outside St John’s Cathedral was renamed Bishop Crispian Way earlier this year to mark his nearing retirement.
In his letter the bishop wrote: “You will all know that I have been struggling a bit this year with health problems and I seem to have been spending a great deal of time in surgery waiting rooms and the QA hospital.
“To cut a long story short, I was given a CT scan at the QA in the middle of June and I have now received the results, which are not very good.
“The scan has revealed cancer of the bowel, which is probably malignant, though that has yet to be definitively confirmed by biopsy on Monday August 1 and an MRI scan on August 2.
“Whatever the results of the tests may be, it is likely that I will have to face major surgery sometime in September. Between now and then, I will be spending my time between Portsmouth and Somerset though I hope to join the diocesan pilgrimage to Lourdes from August 21 till August 27.
“I will, of course, keep you as informed as I can about what is happening, but, in the meantime, I would be very grateful for your support and prayers, together with the prayers of all in the diocese.”
BY MADELEINE TEAHAN
A CATHOLIC teaching assistant has been jailed for eight years after she helped to hide a supply of firearms at her home in south Manchester.
Kimberley Bray was accused of using her job at St Paul’s Catholic High School in Wythenshawe, Manchester, as a “cloak of respectability” to hide a shocking private life.
Philip Curran, prosecuting, told Manchester Crown Court that Bray was “without doubt a hard-working and committed person. But when she gets home it’s a very different environment – another life”.
Her home was raided in January following an ongoing investigation into an incident in the area in which a 24-yearold man was shot in the leg.
Bray, 45, a grandmother, answered the door to officers and her boyfriend, former pub owner Paul Taylor, 46, was found in bed. Underneath the duvet next to him was a 12gauge Benelli semi-automatic shotgun and a 9mm Glock pistol thought to be have been imported from America.
Officers also recovered a 9mm Tariq pistol and a Skorpion sub-machine gun from a wardrobe and found a cannabis farm.
Investigations disclosed that the guns had been used in shootings across the North West over the past decade. Police were able to trace the guns back to five incidents reaching as far back as 2004. The Skorpion had been used when gangsters opened fire through a car sunroof in the city last year and a baby boy was nearly killed when the Tariq was fired near Rochdale.
Bray denied all charges of firearms possession, claiming that her boyfriend Taylor slept on the right side of the bed, which was the side of the bedroom where the majority of bullets and guns were found.
Bray said: “I didn’t know what Mr Taylor was doing. The first time I saw those guns was when you brought me into this courtroom. I would never, never be into drugs or violence or condone them. I teach the kids at school to just stand out from the crowd and be nice.”
Judge Michael Henshell said: “You lived in a warehouse for weapons with men coming and going at all hours. You knew what was going on and you were relied on to keep quiet. None of them were concealed and you would have to have been going round the house blindfolded not to notice them. People are shot, injured and killed on an almost daily basis in this city, often by guns stored by people such as you.”
Taylor pleaded guilty to possession of firearms and ammunition, possession of firearms with intent to endanger life and production of a Class B drug. He was jailed for 17 years.
NEWSBULLETIN Order of Malta appoints new Grand Prior of England THE ORDER of Malta has elected a new Grand Prior of England at a ceremony held at the Church of St Birinus in Dorchester-onThames.
Prior since the order was established at Clerkenwell in 1101.
Ian Scott of Ardross of the Scottish Highlands became the 57th Grand Prior, succeeding Fra’ Fredrik Crichton-Stuart who died in June.
He becomes only the second Scottish Grand
The Grand Priory of England was suppressed in the reign of Queen Elizabeth I and only reestablished in this country in 1993. The current leader of the Order of Malta is Fra’ Matthew Festing, from Northumberland, the third Briton to hold the position.
Group debunks euthanasia myths THE PRO-LIFE pressure group Right to Life has published a leaflet on euthanasia ahead of the autumn final report by Lord Falconer’s Commission on Assisted Dying.
The leaflet, entitled Facts on Euthanasia that Dignity in Dying will not Disclose to You, will be offered free to churches in Britain. It contains 15 facts aimed at debunking myths about euthanasia and assisted suicide.
Right to Life also says the Falconer Commission is biased given that it is funded by the former Voluntary Euthanasia Society, Dignity in Dying (DID, the former Voluntary Euthanasia Society), and euthanasia campaigner and novelist Terry Pratchett.
Phyllis Bowman of Right to Life said: “It is absolutely vital that people are properly informed on the issue and prepared to act when the Commission reports. We know that their friends in the media will help to promote the report as if it were Gospel truth.”
New editor for LMS magazine THE LATIN Mass Society has appointed Gregory Murphy as the new editor of Mass of Ages, its quarterly magazine. Mr Murphy, 44, of Liverpool, has 20 years of experience as a journalist and PR consultant. He worked at the Catholic Pictorial and served as the editor of the Catholic Times during the 1990s.
Mass for Amy Winehouse A MASS for Amy Winehouse was celebrated on Monday at Our Lady Help of Christians Church in Kentish Town, London.
Parish priest Fr Tom Forde, said: “Amy lived in our parish and many people have been very affected by her death.”
The singer, 27, died at her home last month.
The Big Silence DVD competition WE have five DVDs of the popular BBC series The Big Silence to give away. To win one of the five copies, kindly provided by Tiger Aspect Productions, send us a postcard marked “Big Silence competition” telling us which Benedictine priest accompanied the five seekers throughout the series. The winners will be announced later this month.
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British Sister given last-minute reprieve
Indian government allows Sister to stay in country where she has worked with lepers for 29 years
BY ANTO AKKARA IN BANGALORE, INDIA
THE RESIDENTS of Chickanayakanahalli village in suburban Bangalore were ecstatic when the ambulance from the Sumanahalli Society arrived.
Their beloved Sister Jean, a British sister who grew up in Newcastle and has worked with lepers in India for 29 years, was back.
Montfort Sister Jacqueline Jean McEwan stepped out and a beaming Karilingappa Sekharappa rushed forward on his crutches outmaneuvering two dozen other people with Hansen's disease, also known as leprosy, and their family members who were eagerly waiting the sister’s arrival last week.
Mr Sekharappa, 72, embraced Sister Jean with the stumps of his hands, his palms lost to the disease, decades ago.
Then a group of women, several without fingers, started embracing the sister one after the other with tearfilled eyes.
Healthier younger women clapped and smiled.
“This is l ike my dead mother coming back alive. These are tears of joy,” Mr Sekharappa told Catholic News Service (CNS), an American press agency based in Washington DC, wiping his eyes with a towel. When Montfort Sister Jean last saw the residents, none of them knew if she would see them again. She had been ordered by the government on July 8 to abandon her ministry and leave the country within a week because her residency permit was not being renewed. No reason was given for her deportation home to her native Britain and she was ready to fly to London.
But a desperate appeal by Claretian Fr George Kannanthanam, director of the Sumanahalli leprosy home, the deadline for Sister Jean’s departure was extended to July 25.
Sister Jean and others began to lose hope, however, as the days passed without a response from the government.
More than 100 Sisters, coworkers and priests came together to bid Sister Jean goodbye with a Mass the day she was scheduled to depart.
But an hour before Sister Jean was to leave for the airport, the sister received word that the government had extended her permit for 30 days, allowing her to apply for the normal oneyear extension.
An official said the original order was a mistake and assured her she would be allowed to stay in India “without limit of time”.
As others in the village greeted Sister Jean, Mr Sekharappa recalled how he arrived in Bangalore in 1968, banished from his village near Dharwad in Karnataka state, when he was found to have contracted the dreaded disease. “I was an orphan and beggar in Bangalore streets
Montfort Sister Jacqueline Jean McEwan visits B Shanti, left, and her mother, Venkatalakshmi, at their house near Bangalore Photo: CNS
until I met Sister Jean in 1983,” said Mr Sekharappa, who lives in an independent house in the village, one of five such centres across greater Bangalore.
Mr Sekharappa’s home is one of 44 in the village that
Sister Jean and her colleagues managed to secure in 2006 for people with Hansen’s disease through the Indian government.
“Sister Jean has been looking after us like her children.
We felt orphaned and motherless when we were told that she had to leave the country,” he said.
Sister Jean told CNS as she travelled to the village that she was eager to be back so she could continue the work she began in 1982 when her order ran the leprosy centre in Sumanahalli.
“I just could not think of leaving my people,” she said.
It is not just people with Hansen’s disease that Sister Jean has inspired.
She was credited by family members of people with the disease for assuring that they receive an education and build a solid foundation for a career.
“Whatever I am today is all due to this Mother,” B
Shanti, a social worker of St John’s Medical College Hospital, told CNS. Next to Miss Shanti was her mother, 70-year-old Venkatalakshmi, who had lost her legs, hands and eyes to leprosy and was seated on the steps to their house in the village.
“I still remember how Sister [Jean] took me away from the leper colony and sent me to St Teresa’s school,” Miss Shanti said.
Miss Shanti was born in a dingy leper colony in Sheshadripuram in the heart of Bangalore. But she was educated at an elite English school with the help of Sister Jean and a Catholic charity.
She is one of hundreds of young people whose parents have Hansen’s disease who have benefited from Sister Jean’s efforts.
“Look at all of us. Do we look like children of lepers?” asked M Govindaswamy, 38, another school graduate.
“If Sister Jean had not been there, we would have been drunkards, drug peddlers and rowdies,” the graduate said.
Although some of the elders with the disease still venture into downtown Bangalore to beg for money, their children and grandchildren lead normal lives attending even elite schools along with other children with the support of the network Sister Jean has built.
Even so, Sister Jean finds that children and grandchildren of people with Hansen's disease continue to be marginalised in Indian society.
“The educated people are the biggest disappointment in my work as they still stigmatise the people with leprosy,” she said. “They are still scared about it.”
Catholic charities fear that cuts will hurt the needy
BY ED WEST
CATHOLIC charities fear that Government cuts will severely affect their ability to help the needy.
Research by False Economy, a campaigning group against cuts in public expenditure, found that more than 2,000 charities are closing services or reducing their staff because local authorities are withdrawing or reducing their funding to charities by £110 million.
The pressure group released the figure after making 250 Freedom of Information requests. It found that charities helping children and young people were more affected.
Commenting on the findings and the impact of cuts Dr Rosemary Keenan, chief executive of the Catholic Children’s Society (Westminster), said: “Children are among the most vulnerable within our society, it is particularly worrying that charities working to support them are facing cuts of more than £17.04 million with an average cut of 64 per cent to the charities affected.”
The Catholic Children’s Society provides professional counselling and therapy services to children, young people and their families. The Society received more than £125,000 from state bodies in 2009/10, although it receives almost £700,000 from private donors.
Dr Keenan said: “At a time when many people, who would usually donate to a charity, are cutting their own expenditure, the potential loss of income is considerable. It is also a concern that in many quarters there are those who are questioning the appropriateness of faith-based organisations, such as ours, receiving any public funding to deliver services or to be heard in the public sphere. It follows that we value the support of individual Catholics and the Catholic community, which share our beliefs and values.”
She added: “Now, more than ever, we need what our bishops in Choosing the Common Good described as ‘acts of willing generosity to help others’. Such generosity, whether in terms of financial donations or the gift of time and talents, is essential to the survival of our Catholic charities. Together with our supporters we serve the common Good and are an integral part of the ‘Big Society’.”
Although highly critical of the Labour Government in its last days the bishops have since become critical of David Cameron’s “Big Society” agenda, which some have accused of being a cover for cuts in public services. In April Archbishop Vincent Nichols of Westminster accused the government of “washing its hands” of its responsibilities to communties.
False Economy was set up after the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition came to power and is largely supported by trades unions such as Unison and the Fire Brigades Union.
Critics point out that the projected cuts represent just 0.2 per cent of all charitable income in Britain, and that the cuts are the responsibility of local authorities, not the Government.
And Catholic economist Philip
Booth, of the Institute of Economic Affairs, said: “Charity involves voluntary love, compassion and sacrifice to help others through giving money and time. The state currently spends over 50 pence in every pound we earn. The evidence suggests that such high spending actually crowds out genuinely charitable activity, which is so much more effective at meeting genuine need. Too many charities have got too close to the state and have had to compromise their principles as a result.”
Publishers race to print new missals in time for Advent
BY MARK GREAVES
THE BISHOPS’ conference of England and Wales has given the go-ahead for three publishers to produce Sunday missals in time for Advent, it emerged this week.
The missals, containing the new translation of the Mass, will be produced by HarperCollins, Redemptorist Publications and the Catholic Truth Society. They will cost between £16.99 and about £25.
St Paul’s Publishing will be producing its annual paperback missal for just £6. It will provide the readings from Advent this year until the end of 2012.
It is understood that Martin Foster, acting secretary of the Liturgy Office, rejected at least one other publisher who applied for the contract.
Mr Foster said submissions were judged according to the “quality of design and presentation, understanding of liturgical text and if they were offering anything unique”.
He said: “The publishers who were chosen fulfilled these criteria better than those who did not.”
Catholic Blind Services (CBS), meanwhile, has announced it is producing missals in large print formats and in Braille.
Seán O’Donnell, the CBS director, said volunteers were under “a great deal of pressure” to finish everything in time. He said: “There are no paid staff, so everything is done voluntarily and without any funding. If we had been given the texts earlier we would not be under so much pressure.”
HarperCollins, which is owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation, has built on its previous Sunday missal by adding prayers, readings and illustrations. Its low-cost edition will be £16.99.
Dr Robin Gibbons, the missal’s editor and a professor at Oxford, said extra content would be added, mainly from Church documents, to “help people understand what the Mass is about and how it fits into the vision of the Church’s year”. The illustrations, he said, would be in a Romanesque style – that is, from about 1000 to 1200 AD.
The Redemptorist Sunday missal, which costs £19.95, will contain prayers and an illustrated Stations of the Cross by Redemptorist founder St Alphonsus Liguori.
The CTS Sunday missal, meanwhile, will offer the Latin text of the Mass in a separate column alongside the new English translation.
It will include full-colour illustrations taken from a 12thcentury manuscript, the Ingeborg Psalter, which also feature in the altar missals.
CTS will also be publishing a daily missal, including both Sunday and weekday readings, for about £45.
EAST AFRICA CRISIS
Ten million people are facing a devastating drought in East Africa. Very poor rains have led to crop failure, serious food and water shortages and the deaths of tens of thousands of animals in Kenya, Ethiopia, Somalia and South Sudan. With no rain expected until September, the situation can only get worse. The UN says that in some regions the drought is the worst in years. We urgently need your support to get life-saving aid to people now.
Please make a donation today. Your gift will help to provide life-saving food for the most vulnerable, as well as water-points, medicine and emergency support for families whose animals are dying.
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