Catholic Church removes priests after abuse claims

The Catholic Church in Scotland has removed three priests amid allegations of abuse. Picture: Phil Wilkinson
The Catholic Church in Scotland has removed three priests amid allegations of abuse. Picture: Phil Wilkinson
THREE members of the Catholic Church have been removed from their posts amid allegations of abuse, it has emerged.
The Church said 15 allegations had been made against clergy and lay members last year, ten of which related to sexual abuse.
Three of the individuals have been removed from the ministry, and two cases are with the procurator fiscal.
The details emerged as the Scottish Government prepares to announce an inquiry into historical sexual abuse, a move the Church said it supported.
Ministers are expected to outline details of the inquiry on Thursday. which will look into the abuse of children in care, including those who spent time at the Roman Catholic Fort Augustus School near Inverness and the Nazareth House children’s home in Aberdeen.
Details of the latest allegations against the Church emerged in an audit report released today by the Scottish Catholic Safeguarding Service.
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It said that of the 15 allegations made in 2013, six were historical, meaning they took place in the 1980s or earlier.
They relate to 13 individuals – seven clergy and six lay members – who worked for the Church.
Ten of the allegations were of sexual abuse, two were of physical abuse, one of emotional abuse and two were of verbal abuse.
A spokesman for the Church said: “The Catholic Church in Scotland seeks to safeguard the welfare of people of all ages who are involved in whatever capacity with the Church and its organisations. The publication of this audit is an example of the commitment to transparency and openness made previously by Scotland’s Catholic Bishops.
“The external Review of Safeguarding Protocols and Procedures being conducted by Dr Andrew McLellan will report in 2015 and the Statistical Review of all Historic Cases of Abuse from 1947-2005 will be published at that time also.”
The spokesman added that the Church supported “an evidence-based” inquiry into abuse in care.