Abuse cover-up

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With regard to the problems at Fort Augustus Abbey (your report, 5 August), it is ten years since Lord McConnell, Scotland’s former First Minister, made a landmark apology to historic child abuse victims of the Catholic order the Sisters of Nazareth.

Ever since then, the Scottish Catholic Church has been assuring us that the abuse boil had been lanced.

As we have seen in Australia in recent months, however, the broad independent inquiry in that country into child rape has unearthed so much more in the way of abuses and cover-ups in the Catholic Church than was already known that it has shocked even those seasoned observers of this criminality.

It remains a curious feature of our response to child abuse that while companies suspected of fraud, such as Enron, encounter dawn raids on their offices, confiscation of thousands of incriminating files and computers and the immediate arrest of senior individuals, the enforcement authorities do not proceed in similar vein with religious 
orders where the sexual abuse of children and its cover-up is concerned.

Perhaps a spokesman for 
the Scottish Government could explain why such dawn raids are all missing from the investigation into child abuse and its cover-up in religious institutions in 
Scotland.

Alistair McBay

National Secular Society

Atholl Crescent

Edinburgh