Annual Safeguarding Message from Bishop Brian Mcgee
Dear brothers and sisters,
On September 8th, Feast of Our Lady’s Birthday, the new Safeguarding Instruction for the Catholic Church in Scotland – In God’s Image version 2 – became mandatory. The original Instruction was entitled In God’s Image to constantly remind us that every human being must be treated with the upmost dignity and respect since all have been created by God in his own image. This is a beautiful and profound truth which must shape our interactions with one another, especially the most vulnerable. Our commitment to safeguarding arises from our Christian faith.
It was always intended that, after using the Instruction for three years, we would review and improve it. Therefore, after wide consultation the bishops recently published In God’s Image version 2.
We have all been horrified at the suffering inflicted by some Church personnel on the vulnerable, including children. I can assure you that I, and the other bishops, are absolutely determined that the errors of the past are never repeated. This is why we have published In God’s Image version 2 and opened up the Church’s safeguarding procedures to independent scrutiny. Half of the Scottish dioceses have been independently reviewed and the remainder will be reviewed within one year, including Argyll and the Isles.
Much progress has been made but we must always remain focussed. Our clergy have already received training in the new Instruction, the first diocese to have done so. On Saturday 20th November we will be hosting a Diocesan Safeguarding Seminar online and I invite all volunteers to take part.
I know that you share this determination and I thank you, our clergy and lay faithful, for all your efforts to build a culture of safeguarding within our diocese.
I pray for God’s blessings upon you and your families.
Yours in Christ,
Bishop Brian McGee
Bishop of Argyll and the Isles