Thursday, 27 October 2011

The Visitation: the Vatican view

According to the Catholic News Service, the Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi has issued a statement about the Apostolic Visitation to Ealing Abbey.
Auxiliary Bishop John Arnold of Westminster and Abbot Richard Yeo, president of the English Benedictine Congregation, conducted the apostolic visitation at Ealing Abbey and the neighboring St, Benedict's School during September.

They have already made their report to the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which ordered the visitation.

Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, Vatican spokesman, confirmed to Catholic News Service Oct. 25 that Bishop Arnold was asked by the doctrinal congregation to conduct the apostolic visitation.

The congregation, he said, has competency for handling "questions regarding the sexual abuse of minors."

"When the final report of the visitation is ready, it will be given to the congregation, which will take the appropriate steps," Father Lombardi said.

The purpose of the visitation was to ensure that the English and Welsh church's stringent and updated child protection and safeguarding procedures -- put in place in 2002 and revised in 2007 -- have been followed to the letter, said an Oct. 25 statement emailed to Catholic News Service by the Bishops' Conference of England and Wales.

"In accordance with the National Catholic Safeguarding Commission's procedures, all allegations of abuse are passed onto the statutory authorities as has happened with the historic cases at Ealing Abbey," the statement said.

"The Catholic Church in England and Wales is determined to ensure its robust safeguarding procedures are followed, and this visitation is consistent with that aim," it added. "Any person with an allegation of abuse is urged to report it to the statutory authorities."
Well, that's all right then. If this is true, then the visitation has already finished and its report has been written. It was very nice of Bishop John Arnold to tell me so.


  1. Two sexually repressed men investigating, in complete secret, the illegal activities of other sexually repressed and deviant men. What could possibly go wrong...?

    Frankly I hope the diversion of this absurd charade IS over, so the courts can get back to locking some of them up again.

  2. they probably don't have juristiction over the school. your smugness and self importance shines through all your comments.

  3. Therefore all parents and children should go straight to the police.


    and if anyone asks, those are the instructions from the Vatican.

  4. So the visitation is over and a report has already been made to the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. It is unfortunate that Bishop John Arnold and Abbot Richard Yeo were not prepared to wait for Lord Carlile's report to be available in less than two weeks time.

    This looks like a whitewash to me.

  5. Like Abbot Lawrence Soper, this story is going to run and run.

  6. An interesting case is making its way through the English legal system. The Roman Catholic Diocese of Portsmouth is attempting to obtain a ruling which will in effect permit them not to make financial compensation payments to victims of clerical sexual abuse. The grounds? The clergy in question are in fact not employees and are in fact free agents who voluntarily offer their services to the diocese. The diocese then offers them " pocket money" and board and lodging in return for these " voluntary services". If a ruling is given in the diocese of Portsmouth's favour it would permit all diocese' and maybe even religious orders from facing their obligations to the victims....when the going gets rough the Church will play legal hardball so as to protect its own and the institution.

  7. What the Catholic church needs to do first is set up robust Child Protection Procedures at its Churches and adjacent schools. Truly robust ones.

    Then they need to address why there are so many Paedophile Priests in their system? one can assume that the Paedophile's engineer themselves into their position's safe that the worst that could happen is the odd confession where they are normally forgiven anyway. And although there are an increasing number of abuse victims coming forward I am sure there are many, many more who will stay quiet.

    Thirdly, and very importantly, they need to become more transparent. Any other business that size would have to demonstrate sincerity and clarity.

    With the above maybe the Catholic church will start to appeal to younger people again rather than the cynicism they are greeted with when parents have to force their kids into the churches.

    Kid's aren't stupid. They can small a rat. The Catholic Church is still in the dark ages and needs to modernise to save being marginalised.