Diocesan adviser, Mary Kearns
can be contacted by: tel. (07939 486 290)
we praise you for calling us to the service of others.
We pray for a generosity of spirit
to ensure the vulnerable are protected.
We pray for a compassionate heart
so that we will reach out to those who are wounded by abuse.
We pray for courage and determination
as we seek the safety of everyone in our parish communities.
We dedicate ourselves to this work of service
and pray that you will help us to do your will
at all times and in all places. Amen.
Safeguarding is the shared responsibility of everyone to ensure the safety and protection of children, young people and vulnerable adults. It is also about ensuring the professional and safe behaviour of everyone who has a duty of care within our Catholic communities whether ordained or lay and whether in a paid or volunteer position. Safeguarding is not only a way to respond to harm but must be proactive in the prevention of any form of abuse or harm.
Our Commitment to Safeguarding
All components of the Catholic Church in Scotland,
especially those in positions of leadership and responsibility,
value the lives, wholeness, safety and well-being
of each individual person within God's purpose for everyone.
We seek to uphold the highest safeguarding standards
in our relationships with people of all ages
who are involved in whatever capacity
with the Church and its organisations.
And therefore, as a Church community,
we accept that it is the responsibility of all of us
- ordained, professed, employed and voluntary members –
to work together to protect children and vulnerable adults
from abuse or harm.
The Bishops of Scotland,
In God’s Image, 2018
How to respond to allegations
The Bishops’ Conference of Scotland has a mandatory Reporting Policy. All allegations of a criminal nature are reported to Police Scotland. This applies whether the accused is alive or deceased. Allegations must in the first instance be reported to the Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser.
If anyone discloses an allegation to you always remember to follow the nationally agreed process:
Listen – Respond – Record – Refer
In God’s Image
‘In God’s Image’ has been published by the Bishops' Conference of Scotland. It is intended to explain and to direct the approach to Safeguarding that is to be practised at every level of the Catholic Church in Scotland. For the public, and for Catholic faith communities in particular, it has been written to explain how the Catholic Church in Scotland makes every effort to protect from all forms of harm and abuse those children and adults who are vulnerable or at risk. It has also been written to direct those who are responsible for managing Safeguarding arrangements in parishes, dioceses, Religious Institutes and Catholic organisations on how to comply with these new national Safeguarding standards.
In the Diocese of Paisley
In the Diocese of Paisley, we want to re-assure you that we are committed to working in line with the national policies, procedures and guidelines which have been in place since 1997 for dealing with issues of abuse.
These policies, procedures and guidelines are regularly updated to reflect new legislation from the civil authorities, better knowledge on the part of experts and practitioners, and the experience gained in dealing with cases.
The current version of our national policies, procedures and guidelines, published in 2018, is called “In God’s Image” and can be viewed on request to your Parish Priest or on our Diocesan Website. The annual Diocesan Safeguarding Audit is on our Diocesan website.
In particular, we want to assure you that Bishop John and the clergy of the Diocese of Paisley take this issue very seriously and that we continue to be committed to implementing these policies. We want to ensure that the children, young people and vulnerable adults of our Diocese can fully participate in the life of the Church in the safest possible environment.
“The eﬀective protection of minors
and a commitment to ensure their human and spiritual development,
in keeping with the dignity of the human person,
are integral parts of the Gospel message that the Church
and all members of the faithful are called to spread throughout the world.
Many painful actions have caused a profound examination of conscience
for the entire Church,
leading us to request forgiveness from the victims
and from our society for the harm that has been caused.
This response to these actions
is the firm beginning for initiatives of many diﬀerent types,
which are intended to repair the damage,
to attain justice, and to prevent,
by all means possible,
the recurrence of similar incidents in the future.”
Pope Francis, 22nd March 2014.