Tags: Child Abuse

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How secularism protects people who have religious faith

How secularism protects people who have religious faith

Posted: Wed, 14 Nov 2018 by Megan Manson

For Interfaith Week 2018, campaigns officer Megan Manson explains how the National Secular Society's work protects those who are religious as well as those who are not.

One of the most common misconceptions about the National Secular Society is that we are... Read More »

Tags: Secularism, Conversion therapy, Caste, One law for all, Freedom of Expression, Child Abuse, Circumcision, FGM

Time to end criminality and cover-up in the Catholic Church

Time to end criminality and cover-up in the Catholic Church

Posted: Mon, 12 Nov 2018 by Richard Scorer

The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse has turned its attention to abuse in the Catholic Church's archdiocese of Birmingham. Richard Scorer delivered the following opening statement on behalf of several victims.

I represent 29 victims of sexual abuse... Read More »

Tags: Child Abuse, Catholic Church

The Catholic Church’s record on abuse demands accountability, not more meaningless apologies

The Catholic Church’s record on abuse demands accountability, not more meaningless apologies

Posted: Fri, 24 Aug 2018 by Keith Porteous Wood

As the pope prepares to visit Ireland, NSS president Keith Porteous Wood says the international community must confront the Vatican over its shameful record on child abuse and demand action to bring secular justice.

Forty years ago, mass attendance per capita... Read More »

Tags: Child Abuse, Catholic Church

Religious power and privilege failed the victims in the Peter Ball affair

Religious power and privilege failed the victims in the Peter Ball affair

Posted: Sat, 11 Aug 2018 by Keith Porteous Wood

In this long read NSS president Keith Porteous Wood explains how all arms of the law co-operated to protect the now former bishop Peter Ball for decades and refutes claims that "it couldn't happen now".

Peter Ball started misusing his religious power to sexually... Read More »

Tags: Child Abuse, Church of England, Church & State

Child protection must come before the reputation of institutions like Ampleforth and Downside

Child protection must come before the reputation of institutions like Ampleforth and Downside

Posted: Thu, 09 Aug 2018 by Richard Scorer

Richard Scorer says a damning report on two leading Catholic schools' approach to safeguarding is a reminder of the need for a law mandating the reporting of suspected child abuse to the secular authorities.

At the end of 2017 the Independent Inquiry into Child... Read More »

Tags: Catholic Church, Child Abuse

Anglicanism's 'purple circle' of bishops cannot be trusted over child abuse

Anglicanism's 'purple circle' of bishops cannot be trusted over child abuse

Posted: Sat, 28 Jul 2018 by Keith Porteous Wood

NSS president Keith Porteous Wood reflects on the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse's hearings into the case of the abusive bishop Peter Ball.

Under the guise of schemes with names such as "Give a Year to God", former Church of England bishop Peter... Read More »

Tags: Church of England, Child Abuse

The Church of England provided the perfect cover for Peter Ball’s offending

The Church of England provided the perfect cover for Peter Ball’s offending

Posted: Mon, 23 Jul 2018 by Richard Scorer

Opening statement by lawyer Richard Scorer of Slater and Gordon, also an NSS vice president, at the IICSA inquiry's hearings into the case of Peter Ball, the former bishop of Gloucester.

Chair and members of the panel: Mr O'Donnell and I represent five survivors... Read More »

Tags: Church of England, Child Abuse

The seal of the confessional and child abuse: a religious privilege too far

The seal of the confessional and child abuse: a religious privilege too far

Posted: Mon, 25 Jun 2018 by Richard Scorer

Some clerics want exemptions from reporting requirements on abuse when it's revealed in the confessional. Accommodating their demands would undermine efforts to tackle child abuse, says Richard Scorer.

The controversy over the seal of confessional in clerical... Read More »

Tags: Child Abuse, Church of England, Catholic Church, Church & State

Bishops must be accountable – and not just to themselves

Bishops must be accountable – and not just to themselves

Posted: Fri, 23 Mar 2018 by Richard Scorer

Abridged version of the winding-up speech by lawyer Richard Scorer of Slater and Gordon, also an NSS vice president, at the IICSA inquiry's hearings into the handling of child sexual abuse in the diocese of Chichester.

This has been the first opportunity for... Read More »

Tags: Child Abuse, Church of England

Church dysfunctionality laid bare by child sexual abuse inquiry

Church dysfunctionality laid bare by child sexual abuse inquiry

Posted: Sun, 11 Mar 2018 by Keith Porteous Wood

As the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse turns its attention to the Church of England, Keith Porteous Wood says it must act on evidence which has highlighted the desperate need to hold the C of E to account.

The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual... Read More »

Tags: Church of England, Child Abuse

The C of E cannot be trusted to deal with safeguarding complaints in house

The C of E cannot be trusted to deal with safeguarding complaints in house

Posted: Mon, 05 Mar 2018 by Richard Scorer

On the first day of hearings into child sexual abuse in the Church of England, NSS vice-president Richard Scorer told an inquiry that protecting children requires independent oversight and mandatory reporting.

Earlier today I addressed the Independent Inquiry... Read More »

Tags: Church of England, Child Abuse

Only reform of the law can tackle the Church's temptation to cover up abuse

Only reform of the law can tackle the Church's temptation to cover up abuse

Posted: Fri, 15 Dec 2017 by Richard Scorer

Richard Scorer reflects on three weeks of damning evidence at the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse. He says mandatory reporting of institutional abuse is necessary to prevent churches from covering it up to protect their reputation.

For the past... Read More »

Tags: Child Abuse, Catholic Church

Abuse Inquiry to investigate Benedictine institutions

Abuse Inquiry to investigate Benedictine institutions

Posted: Tue, 24 Oct 2017 by Richard Scorer

An upcoming hearing of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse will be an opportunity to examine the reality behind the Catholic Church's claims that it has transformed its approach to child protection, says Richard Scorer.

At the end of November, the... Read More »

Tags: Catholic Church, Child Abuse

The legacy of decades of abuse in a Catholic children's home

The legacy of decades of abuse in a Catholic children's home

Posted: Thu, 21 Sep 2017 by Mark Boules

Hundreds of children died at Smyllum Park, a home in Lanarkshire run by the Catholic Church between 1864 and 1981. As an order of nuns considers selling the land, calls for a memorial are mounting. Mark Boules reflects on what is left after decades of abuse... Read More »

Tags: Child Abuse, Catholic Church, Scotland

Cardinal Murphy O'Connor's cover-up of child abusers must be a lesson to the Catholic Church

Cardinal Murphy O'Connor's cover-up of child abusers must be a lesson to the Catholic Church

Posted: Fri, 08 Sep 2017 by Keith Porteous Wood

Cormac Murphy O'Connor, the former Archbishop of Westminster, died on 1 September. NSS executive director Keith Porteous Wood seeks to set the historical record straight with this alternative obituary. This piece was originally published on Conatus News. It... Read More »

Tags: Catholic Church, Child Abuse

The confessional shouldn’t shield child abuse from reporting

The confessional shouldn’t shield child abuse from reporting

Posted: Wed, 16 Aug 2017 by Keith Porteous Wood

The Australian abuse commission is right not to exempt the confessional from reporting obligations, and its rigour should provide a model to reverse the backsliding already all too clear in the UK, argues Keith Porteous Wood.

Should priests be legally bound... Read More »

Tags: Child Abuse, Catholic Church, Australia

Newcastle: what's faith got to do with it?

Newcastle: what's faith got to do with it?

Posted: Thu, 10 Aug 2017 by Yasmin Rehman

A group of mainly Muslim men has been convicted for sexual abuse in another British city. Amid a predictable response, Yasmin Rehman says child protection does not require the involvement of faith groups or 'community leaders'.

Rotherham, Rochdale, Oxford,... Read More »

Tags: Islam, Child Abuse, Secularism, Multiculturalism, Faith groups

Church of England’s links with insurer undermines justice for survivors of clergy abuse

Church of England’s links with insurer undermines justice for survivors of clergy abuse

Posted: Wed, 26 Jul 2017 by Keith Porteous Wood

Anglican abuse victims believe the Church's close links with its insurer results in lower settlements to victims. NSS executive director Keith Porteous Wood thinks they've got a point, and offers solutions to put things right.

An insurance company connected... Read More »

Tags: Church & State, Church of England, Child Abuse

The Church can’t be allowed to carry on marking its own homework

The Church can’t be allowed to carry on marking its own homework

Posted: Sun, 25 Jun 2017 by Richard Scorer

The Church concealed evidence of criminality and colluded to protect an abusive bishop. Only external oversight will guarantee that church safeguarding practices comply with secular standards, argues Richard Scorer.

With the publication of the Gibb report the... Read More »

Tags: Church & State, Child Abuse, George Carey

The Catholic Church’s abuse scandal shows no sign of abating

The Catholic Church’s abuse scandal shows no sign of abating

Posted: Mon, 15 May 2017 by Richard Scorer

After forty years the Catholic Church is still more interested in protecting itself and its clerical culture than in truly eradicating child abuse, writes Richard Scorer.

"Organisational culture is a powerful force that guides decisions and actions. Leaders... Read More »

Tags: Catholic Church, Scotland, Child Abuse

Who is running Ireland – the Government or the Church?

Who is running Ireland – the Government or the Church?

Posted: Mon, 27 Mar 2017 by Keith Porteous Wood

The reach and power of the Catholic Church has waned considerably in recent years in Ireland. But there are troubling signs that its undue influence over the country is returning, writes Keith Porteous Wood.

It is difficult to envisage now, but when the UK... Read More »

Tags: Catholic Church, Ireland, Child Abuse

Mass grave full of children's remains at Catholic home reveals atrocities on a massive scale

Mass grave full of children's remains at Catholic home reveals atrocities on a massive scale

Posted: Tue, 07 Mar 2017 by Keith Porteous Wood

With the latest revelations about human remains in an Irish Mother and Baby home, Keith Porteous Wood, executive director of the National Secular Society, seeks answers about how such atrocities could have happened on such a scale, and what can be done now.... Read More »

Tags: Catholic Church, Child Abuse, Ireland

Religious privilege undermines abuse victims’ access to justice

Religious privilege undermines abuse victims’ access to justice

Posted: Mon, 22 Aug 2016 by Richard Scorer

Richard Scorer, a specialist child abuse lawyer at Slater & Gordon draws attention to organisations seeking more lenient treatment over child abuse-connected matters because they are religious and makes the case for no concessions being given.

Which is... Read More »

Tags: Child Abuse, Childrens rights & welfare, Catholic Church, Jehovah Witnesses

Church documents expose an even bigger cover-up than suspected in the Peter Ball case

Church documents expose an even bigger cover-up than suspected in the Peter Ball case

Posted: Tue, 19 Jul 2016 by Richard Scorer

The recent release of more internal Church of England documents relating to the Peter Ball case exposes an even bigger cover-up than previously suspected, writes specialist abuse lawyer Richard Scorer.

To recap: Peter Ball was a prominent Church of England... Read More »

Tags: Church of England, Child Abuse, George Carey

Religious belief is no barrier to criminality

Religious belief is no barrier to criminality

Posted: Thu, 09 Jun 2016 by Alistair McBay

A spate of media reports have suggested that criminals convicted of sex abuse feigned their religion. NSS Vice-President Alistair McBay argues that the media shouldn't seek to protect religion from criticism by misrepresenting these cases.

A disturbing new... Read More »

Tags: Religion & Belief, Child Abuse

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