The RLSS responded positively to the idea of a Catholic Survivors Forum. Catholics generally, not just religious orders. So I recently tweeted about it as below. My own feeling is that, handled right, it could be an opportunity to video interview key Catholic figures about the issues raised by Survivors And put up the videos on the Forum. I can think of several people who could do these interviews  and I’d certainly like the chance. It would be better and more general and useful than a video Victim Impact Statement.

We might even prsuade the De La Salles to come out of their cave and talk to Survivors.

 I’ll get into it on a later blog, but wanted to see what everyone felt.

I know the Crystal Palace site was brilliant for highlighting  De La Salle abuse at St J’s Beulah Hill. It was also very measured, not abusive, and didn’t fall into any of the traps some forums do.

The De La Salles claimed the many abuse claims on the Crystal Palace site were unheard of. That’s why I feel it need a video interview slot on a Forum so they can hear us. It’s ludicrous that they are currently only communicating through the intermediary of the RLSS

Do let me know your thoughts and feedback. That’s what the RLSS need to go forward.


RLSS (religious order Safeguarding) have asked for feedback on a forum. I’m going to do a blog post covering it in detail, but I thought I’d pass on RLSS info here and my personal opinion in a series of tweets.

My first thought is it shouldn’t just be an echo chamber of Survivors letting off steam, useful as that can be. It lays itself open to the valid criticism here that it would just be a waste of time and could wrongly raise Survivors hopes and retraumatise some.

That said, on Twitter, AFAIK, we are largely ignored by Safeguarding and people like De La Salles, Zollner and Nazir. On a forum, we would be read by Safeguarding and – if it’s handled right – by the media. And some may respond.

I know an experienced and trusted Moderator volunteer who could represent Survivor’s side. It should not be one sided. And it should be wider than just religious orders. ALL Catholic abuse issues, priests etc.

But the biggest challenge is for the RLSS to be pro-active. e.g. If we raise a concern about Zollner or Nazir, if the RLSS goes to him for comment that’s pro-active. If he chooses to ignore it will be exposed on a forum seen by the media. So Nazir will talk!

Anyway- here’s what the RLSS said to me: ‘My key question for the forum is what you would like it to achieve. Is it a place where Survivors can feel heard could you pose the question … to see if we can find some consensus and then we can take it forward from there.’

‘My key concern is ensuring the power imbalance which is inherent when dealing with the Church has been thought about and addressed so this forum isn’t another structure which Survivors are retraumatised by their interaction with it from the lack of power they feel.’

‘This is also the reason I want to agree its purpose and be really transparent about it so Survivors do not think the forum can deliver something which it fundamentally can’t and once again feel like they aren’t being taken seriously.’

‘More is needed but this is a good first step & getting structure right is key. If you wouldn’t mind asking that question to those who commented & I will also pose it to other Survivor groups … let’s see if we can agree a basic structure & purpose so we can take it forward

So that’s the gist of RLSS view. If I can persuade them to be pro-active in the way I’ve described I’d be for it. If the RLSS inform the media we could get some interaction – e.g. Catholic Herald, Guardian etc. Anyway, welcome everyone’s thoughts – good & bad – I’ll pass on!




  2. Thanks, Rafael. Your backing means a lot to me. Your case is exactly the one I want to ask Catholics about – because I think you’ve been screwed about more than anyone else.

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