Child Protection: State Vs Family …


In recent years, I’ve met several parents who are deeply concerned at the way parents are regarded with  suspicion by the authorities. One parent, whose (now grown up) son was particularly accident prone as a toddler, told me that if she were in the same position now, she would not dream of taking him to the doctor/accident & emergency, as she did, without giving it a second thought at the time.  It never occurred to her that anyone would think that she would harm her own, much loved, child.

Click on the picture of the baby to watch the Panorama Special “I Want My Baby Back”, broadcast on BBC 1 last night, to see why parents today are afraid to place themselves and their children in the path of medical professionals and social services.

But what if a child is in pain after a fall or other accident in the home or at play. What should parents do – what would you do?  Take your child to the doctor and hope for the best … or what? 

Key Question 1 : what can parents do about the erosion of their rights due to the excessive State interference in family life?

Key Question 2 : Is it time for the Catholic Bishops to speak out forcefully about this excessive State interference, perhaps suggesting that social services put their own house in order by focusing on the abuse on both children and the elderly in their own institutions? 

Conti Claim False: every bishop personally answerable to Rome…

Conti Claim False: every bishop personally answerable to Rome...

The print and broadcasting media are all over the Cardinal O’Brien scandal yet again: this time their computers have been switched on by Archbishop Conti, former Archbishop of Glasgow, who claims that Cardinal O’Brien withdrew from a project aimed at publicising allegations of abuse in Scotland, with data on action taken.

The weak link in his claim is the fact that every bishop is answerable directly to the Pope. He has full authority, under the Pope, to act in the best interests of the Faith in his own diocese.

Therefore, each and every bishop in Scotland was and remains free (the few bishops left, that is) to conduct his own audit and publish the findings. It’s disgraceful to make Cardinal O’Brien the scapegoat, so shame on Archbishop Emeritus Conti for choosing to “kick the cardinal” while he’s down.

If, in fact, Cardinal O’Brien chose to withdraw from the “transparency” project for less than honourable reasons, perhaps to cover up his own negligence, as has been suggested in the press today, then shame on him.

But shame, too, on those bishops – like Archbishop Conti – who hide behind the novel structure of a Bishops’ Conference, a body which has absolutely no authority whatsoever, is unscriptural and a break with Catholic Tradition. It bears repeating: every bishop is in charge of his own diocese. He is the one person who is responsible for what happens there. Every bishop is answerable directly to the Pope, and, ultimately, to God. He is not answerable  to any other bishop, nor to any so-called “Bishops’ Conference”.

Thus there is nothing to stop each bishop from publishing his own data on child abuse allegations. Let’s have it then, and the sooner, the better.