Letters Show Catholic Bishops In Scotland Knew Of 20 Sexual Abuse Allegations But Did Not Expose Them To Scrutiny

Evidence Catholic Church In Scotland Buried 20 Child Sex Abuse Allegations

The BBC says it has seen evidence that the bishops in the Catholic Church in Scotland knew of 20 allegations of child sex abuse by priests between 1985 and 1995.

The revelations comes after the recent resignation of Cardinal Keith O’Brien over his admitted “inappropriate behavior” with young priests as far back as 1980. O’Brien was not accused of child sex abuse.

In the BBC’s explosive report, its noted that while the Roman Catholic Church has been battered by sex abuse scandals for decade — until now — its shadow hadn’t touched the church in Scotland.

After the wave of sexual abuse scandals hits the R.C church in England from the mid ’80’s onwards, Alan Draper, an academic, was commissioned by the church to advise them on a response program to sexual abuse.

Compiling his report, Draper asked Scotland’s eight bishops for information on what they knew. The BBC reports that it has seen the letters the bishops sent in reply, which refer to 20 allegations of child abuse by priests.

Draper said he asked the bishops to let independent experts investigate the cases further, but the bishops disagreed. Of that decision, Draper said: “I was very concerned about their unwillingness to actually expose individual priests who were leading double lives.

“They were very reluctant to do that, and I felt that was totally inappropriate. It’s not what your sexuality is, it’s how you’re managing your sexuality.”

In Draper’s opinion, the files should have been given to an independent group, one chaired by a judge.

In response to this, the Church said Draper was involved “at an early stage in the development of policies and procedures but was replaced when others with greater competence were engaged.”

According to the BBC, some priests were reported to police and removed from parishes, but others were not. Now, its reported that more alleged victims are coming forward.

Lawyer Cameron Fyfe who is acting for six clients of alleged abuse, says two have come forward in the last few weeks since the O’Brien scandal. Some, says Fyfe, trace back to the early 1980’s, but two have been within the last 10 years.

Alarmingly, Fyfe said two of his clients claim they were raped by priests when they were children in the late-1980’s and mid-1990’s. Under Scots law, cases are supposed to be brought within three years. But, Fyfe says that’s unrealistic as victims of sexual abuse often “lock away” harrowing memories of abuse.

In addition, the BBC reveals it spoke to another alleged victim who is not part of the original 20 allegations. The new victim — Chris — claims he was abused by a priest in the 90s, from around the age of nine or 10 until his early teens.

Evidence That Scottish Bishops Knew Of 20 Child Sex Abuse Allegations Surfaces