NAZIR AFZAL. Talking to the public about Catholic abuse?

Here is a tweet I received from Nazir:

No Patrick.

Catholic safeguarding is my job, not a subject for Twitter

I do not tweet about anything over which I have any direct control – none of my roles

I’m meeting survivors next week where I will outline the progress we have made & answer their questions.

Never on Twitter

I’m at that meeting next week, with just a handful of us, hardly the public at large, but in the meantime here’s my thoughts:

Nazir gave an interview about his role as Chair of Catholic Safeguarding to Ed Stourton on BBC R4 Sunday.May 23rd  last year

At 5.49:

“I want to talk to the media more frequently, the public more frequently about what’s happening.”

So he is saying here he DOES want to talk publicly about his job as Chair.  

But over seven months later that has not happened. So his statement is in  contradiction of his rebuttal that he will not use twitter like politicians and everyone else in a similar role (or similar social media AFAIK) to talk to the public about what’s happening in Catholic Safeguarding.

Nazir has not spoken out in the tabloids either AFAIK which is another way of telling the public more frequently what’s happening.

As he uses Twitter frequently to discuss other issues (like Maxwell)  it’s not that he has some objection to it as a social media form

As a lawyer, I’m sure Nazir will find an explanation for this contradiction but it’s too subtle for me.

On the positive side, he says some good things on that interview which I was pleased to hear. Like Mandatory reporting. And that he has ‘Regulator’ rather than advisor powers.  But working just a few days a month?! To change the Catholic Church’s clericalism and associated crimes is a full time job.

Here’s my message to Nazir:

Whatever your  intentions, and I’m sure you are well meaning, the truth is lots of Catholic survivors are disappointed in you and your lack of public statements.

You must take that on board.

And please don’t say Twitter is unsuitable for such weighty matters. Putting aside your frequent use of Twitter on other weighty subjects…

You could easily say for example without compromising anyone, “I’m listening to survivors. I can’t go into details, but I’m looking at how Catholic Canon Law is jeopardising the Law of our Land (I can send you examples, Nazir, if you’re interested?). Change will happen.”

That would tell us you’re on the case without compromising survivor privacy and other excuses.

After seven months it looks to us survivors that you are part of the problem, not part of the solution.

It’s important Survivors know this so they are not wasting their energy on false hopes and window dressing.  I believe you were appointed as ‘a safe pair of hands’.  But that isn’t going to create the ‘fundamental reset’ needed.

There are other ways to bring the Catholic Church to account for its crimes, but I don’t believe you are one of them.

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