I really do not enjoy highlighting the failings of the De La Salle Brothers and Catholic Safeguarding. I have far better things to do with my time. I could be enjoying the stunning view from our garden. I could be promoting my books. I could be working on my next novel.
But this latest development can’t be ignored. Because survivors have been grievously harmed by this religious order. And both they and Catholic Safeguarding have to do much better to put things right.
THE ‘PUBLIC’ APOLOGY
As I said previously, it was not a public apology. But there’s some news on this:
Before complaining on my blog it was not a public apology, I did a word search on Google quoting a phrase from the apology.
Nothing came up.
A national journalist looked for the apology in a similar way.
Nothing came up.
Today, if you put a phrase from the apology in Google …
Hey presto! It comes up!
This means the De La Salles have belatedly added the apology on their website AFTER my blog had said it was not a public apology.
Previously the only person I know who saw the apology was Catholic Safeguarding who omitted to send it to me until I asked them for it.
The intention was obviously for the apology to have zero public impact.
Such blatant manipulation of information does not put the De La Salles in a good light.
And it’s still far from public as it’s buried on the DLS website without comment.
It should go out to all media IF THEY MEAN THEY ARE SORRY. Of course it’s obvious they do not mean it.
I’ve also been made aware by others of yet further media obfuscation by the DLS.
Conclusion? The De La Salles haven’t changed at all from the bad old days of cover-up and denial.
THE DE LA SALLE WEBSITE
I had a look at it. https://www.lasalleigbm.org/
Three paragraphs stood out for me:
‘The De La Salle Brothers are fully committed to protecting children, young people and adults at risk from neglect and from all forms of abuse. ‘
‘We will be open, transparent and accountable.’
‘We will respond to those affected by abuse with sensitivity, respect and compassion and endeavour to support them in whatever way is appropriate.’
None of this rings true.
Thus there is no mention of the De La Salle brothers who have been found guilty of abuse.
There is nothing in the News section of their website, either – even though a De La Salle brother who liked to electrocute children’s genitals is being sentenced today.
And no mention of DLS proven abusers who definitely run into double figures and may run into triple figures.
It’s like none of it ever happened.
That is not normal. Something is very wrong here.
Therefore from all the foregoing I put it to the Reverend Des Bill at Catholic Safeguarding once again that – contrary to what he is claiming – it is therefore provable that the DLS are distancing themselves from their criminal past.
A GENUINE APOLOGY FROM THE DE LA SALLES?
Perhaps naively, I actually think this is still possible!
I see two possible alternative paths ahead:
1)The De La Salles and Des Bill continue with a defensive pattern of behaviour – with obfuscation and denial – which alienates survivors and is the very opposite of Christian beliefs. I guess they’re both hoping that an annoying survivor like me will eventually get fed-up and go away. That’s unlikely – I’ve too much emotional investment in this matter to let it go. But I do seek closure.
2) To enter into a proper dialogue with the DLS and Safeguarding about them creating a true, sincere and meaningful apology. I think it’s possible, after consultation with the numerous survivors I’m in touch with, to present a draft of what most survivors expect from the DLS.
And to listen to DLS alternative and improved suggestions for a genuine apology.
It’s clear that the previous apology was just one small step in the right direction.
I’m happy to cut through these necessary but acrimonious posts and talk on the phone or Skype with the DLS and Des Bill. And try to find a solution.
Although it’s my understanding that it’s even a challenge communicating with the DLS who are very difficult to make contact with on these matters. Perhaps that’s down to their lawyers who may have advised them not to speak to survivors?
Whatever else, it’s clear that the DLS and the Reverend Des Bill are in denial about the horrifying and widespread extent of the DLS crimes. I realise it’s shaking the very ground they’re walking on and there must be a devastating price they are now paying in cognitive dissonance by blocking out the truth. And I know what that feels like, because we survivors similarly had the ground shaking beneath our feet because of DLS abuse. And which many of us similarly tried to deny and block from our minds.
So embracing the truth could actually be truly healing for the DLS and Safeguarding as well as for us.
I realise this second option will probably be dismissed or ignored by the DLS but it will happen eventually, whether they like it or not. And it’s my understanding that Catholic Safeguarding actually have the power to ensure a true dialogue is opened.
Over to both of them.
My offer of negotiations with the DLS and Safeguarding for a genuine apology to help heal survivors has been made here today, November 3 2021, for the record.