Abuse issues

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Two reports in your edition of 3 June make disturbing reading when put together.

In the first, you report that a former adviser to the Scottish Catholic Church believes churches and other Christian groups such as the Scouts are being “let off the hook” by a national public inquiry set up to investigate the issue.

In the second, you report that nine men have been reported to prosecutors in connection with historical abuse at a former Catholic boarding school, Fort Augustus Abbey.

It is worth noting that in Operation Hydrant conducted by the National Police Chiefs’ Council, seven faith-based institutions in Scotland were identified last month for investigation into child sex abuse, and in the past fortnight the Methodist Church has revealed a catalogue of nearly 2,000 cases of child sexual, physical and mental abuse going back decades.

The child sex abuse in the Catholic Church is of course well known.

Campaigners to bring child abusers to book, and indeed those who shielded their behaviour to protect reputations, are well aware of the obfuscating tactics that bedevil the enquiry set up by the Westminster government.

It is a shame that in Scotland we cannot be more forthright in exposing the full scale of this problem while, it seems, religious institutions are to remain able to police themselves and escape independent scrutiny.

Alistair McBay

National Secular Society

Atholl Crescent

Edinburgh