NAZIR,  BILL DONAHUE & EPSTEIN

Nazir Afzal, the Chair of Catholic Safeguarding, sent this tweet a few days ago:

nazir afzal@nazirafzal·Feb 12Lesson

Technically a “Paedophile” is abusing pre-pubescent children

A “Hebophile” abuses those in early stages of puberty, 11-14

A ‘Ephebephile” abuses those in later stages, 15+

The reason why you don’t hear that

Because making that distinction makes you sound like a Paedophile

I asked him to explain it, because such definitions are commonly used by people to excuse and defend sexual abusers of older children. His tweet came out of the blue, without a previous or a follow up tweet. Why he would also introduce it as ‘Lesson’, I don’t know.

 I’ll ask him again here:

NAZIR, WHAT WAS YOUR AGENDA IN SENDING THE ABOVE TWEET?

I would also note again that – only a few days earlier –  he had, for the second time, insisted to me personally in a Zoom meeting that he only tweeted his personal opinions. He never tweeted about matters that related to his work as Chair of  Catholic Safeguarding.

This tweet clearly has everything to do with Catholic Safeguarding.

And it’s not just a matter of semantics. Of ‘technical clinical distinctions’ (see the Guardian article below). As Chair, Nazir’s words carry great weight and his words are read by thousands of his followers.

So it’s serious.

As another survivor gave their view of Nazir’s tweet, ‘It’s very offensive’.

Here’s how Nazir’s distinctions have been used by others to defend Epstein:

‘Correcting Wootton calling him a paedophile, Lady C  (Lady Colin Campbell) said that it is a ‘medical term’ and that actually that Epstein was an ephebophile – an adult who is sexually attracted to adolescents, usually between the ages of 15 to 19’

And it’s also relevant to Virginia Giuffre. Daily Mail readers have largely condemned her because she was  abused at 17. Ignoring the fact that she was originally abused at 14 through to 17. So it was part of an ongoing continuum of abuse.  

I can understand how that works  because it was a similar continuum for me  up to the age of 16 when I finally escaped my middle class Catholic abusers by leaving home. 

Nazir’s definitions thus gloss over continuums of abuse and that’s one of the definitions’ purposes for defenders of abuse.

Nazir’s reply was

nazir afzal@nazirafzal·15hReplying to @jebrittan2 and @PatrickEMillsJoanna, Patrick

I don’t use any term other than “child sex abuser”

None of the other terms have any legal status

I’m merely noting that there are 3 terms used by professionals but they are all child sex abusers as far as the law is concerned

If you look at his first tweet above you’ll see that his second tweet doesn’t make complete sense and is an inadequate response.

He’s simply side-stepped the issue, as you might expect from a lawyer.

My tweet on this issue make it clear why it’s inadequate:

It’s wrong when the Chair of Catholic Safeguarding @nazirafzal tweets about unpronounceable, irrelevant,(and inaccurate)  academic terms that no one cares about. Except the Catholic Church which has used these terms to mitigate such crimes against older kids

Inaccurate because the Vatican itself extends the term of paedophilia for longer than Nazir’s definition. 

So where’s the proof that the Catholic Church itself  weaponizes these very same words to defend Catholic abusers?

Okay, here we go.

I’ll stick to examples of Bill Donahue head of the powerful American Catholic League. But don’t dismiss Bill as a unique, aggressive, middle-class Irish Catholic thug. (He once wanted to physically attack Christopher Hitchens. )He’s playing to his Catholic American audience and he knows exactly what he’s doing There are other examples I can find if I dig deep enough. I remember reading them five years ago and being incensed.  Currently, there’s Philip Jenkins, for example, who’s a prominent writer on an authoritative Catholic website, except he chooses his words rather more carefully than Bill. But his sub-text has much in common..

And what Bill says is what the Catholic Church really says and thinks behind closed doors.

I know this with absolute certainty, because, when I was 15, middle class Catholics back then – lawyers, teachers and other professionals – talked to me in similar terms. Which is why I have to write this post. Because the 15 year old inside me is furious with Nazir for providing such characters with fuel. 

I also recall my Catholic mother commenting on a notoriously violent St Joseph’s College, Ipswich, Catholic lay teacher.  This man later ran off with an eleven or twelve year old boy to Europe. IIRC, it took a year for them to be found. It’s on my site. The teacher had promised that the boy would become head of a children’s order of Catholic Knights like the Knights of St Columba. My mother smiled as she read the newspaper account: ‘What a silly man to be taken in by that boy.’ It was the Lolita-like boy’s fault for seducing a foolish and weak man.  My mother’s attitude was – and is – commonplace amongst Catholics. I’ve personally heard other Catholics similarly condemn ‘wicked children’. The Magdalene Laundries were filled with these ‘harpies’ who led poor, weak Catholic men on. They deserved their punishment at the hands of the good nuns.

So this technical jargon of Nazir’s is a godsend to Catholics. It’s ammunition.

 Nazir, by using the same terms, and as Chair of Catholic Safeguarding, is aligning himself  beside these apologists for the most vile of crimes.

Here’s the Washington Examiner (my emphasis)

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/weekly-standard/with-friends-like-bill-donohue

But Donohue says unto you: “This is an obscene lie. Most of the alleged victims were not raped: they were groped or otherwise abused, but not penetrated, which is what the word ‘rape’ means.”

You have heard that it was said, “The abusive priests were pedophiles.”

But Donohue says unto you: “This is the greatest lie of them all.” Earlier studies of priestly sex abuse have shown that, church-wide, “81 percent of the victims were male, 78 percent of whom were postpubescent.”

……………………………………….

So it’s okay? Right. Bill?

Here’s the Guardian (my emphasis)

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/michaeltomasky/2010/apr/01/catholicism-childprotection

“Roberts” here is former CNN anchor Thomas Roberts, a former Catholic abuse victim himselfThe transcript:


Roberts: Bill is good but you cannot link homosexuality to a paedophilia crisis in the Catholic church.
Bill Donohue: It’s not a paedophilia … most of the victims were post-pubescent …
Roberts: You know …
Donohue: You’ve got to get your facts straight. I’m sorry. If I’m the only one that’s going to deal with facts tonight so be it. The vast majority of the victims are post-pubescent. That’s not paedophilia, buddy. That’s homosexuality.

In a technical and clinical sense, a case can be made for the way Donohue defines paedophilia, which (technically and clinically) is meant to refer to abuse of pre-pubescent boys. Historically, “paederasty” is more associated with teenage boys. Whatever. The important thing is that when it comes to the law, both are illegal, as Donohue surely knows.

But it’s when he says “that’s homosexuality” that he begins his stroll into the quicksand. It seems obvious that “consensual” is his implied adjective there. He seems clearly to be saying that once a young male attains puberty, he is making a choice.

O’Connor: Sorry Larry, at what age does somebody become, you know, post-pubescent in America as a matter of ages?
King: What is the age?
Thomas: Ah… I don’t know. Let’s ask Bill. He seems to be the authority on post-pubescency.
Donohue: 12, 13 years of age.

But it’s that “12, 13” that I hope made you gasp. Again, the man is so out of it that it’s hard to pin down exactly what he meant. He might have meant that by that age, some boys become volitionally gay, and so having sex with priests is something they choose to do (“that’s not paedophilia, buddy. That’s homosexuality”).

He might have meant that gay priests can’t help but be enticed by post-pubescent boys, because that’s just how homosexuals are. Whatever he meant, what came out was that he was leaning on a technical clinical distinction about the definition of paedophilia and asserting that the abuse of boys once they’ve grown pubic hair is in some sense not a problem.

……………………….

And here’s Queerty. Bill had run a full page ad in the New York Times which Queerty quotes (my emphasis). As a 100% heterosexual survivor of Catholic abusers myself, I can confirm that Queerty are absolutely right in repudiating Bill’s nonsense and I sympathise with their anger.

, https://www.queerty.com/the-disgusting-defense-of-priest-molesters-that-catholic-leagues-bill-donohue-got-the-times-to-run-20110411

This is from Bill’s ad:

The refrain that child rape is a reality in the Church is twice wrong: let’s get it straight—they weren’t children and they weren’t raped. We know from the John Jay study that most of the victims have been adolescents, and that the most common abuse has been inappropriate touching (inexcusable though this is, it is not rape). The Boston Globe correctly said of the John Jay report that “more than three-quarters of the victims were post pubescent, meaning the abuse did not meet the clinical definition of pedophilia.” In other words, the issue is homosexuality, not pedophilia.

Queerty comments (with commendable restraint): I can think of few people doing more damage to innocent children than the child molesting clergy victimizing them. But Bill Donohue is a close second.

………………………………………………………………………………………………..

The English  Catholic Church has distanced themselves from Donahue’s view. But this only adds to the mixed messages and smoke and mirrors for which the Catholic Church is infamous.

So why on Earth is Nazir tweeting  such dangerous and toxic definitions now? I don’t believe it just happened. I want to know why.

Look at people like Donahue, Lady Colin Campbell and Daily Mail readers who also make these very same ‘technical clinical’ distinctions. They all have one thing in common:

They are defending and making excuses for sexual predators of older children.

Yet Nazir’s organisation is meant to protect kids from sexual predators of older children.

Nazir makes the worrying conclusion.

‘Because making that distinction makes you sound like a Paedophile’

He is clearly suggesting that distinction is an unfair over-reaction and is unjust.

For the Chair of the CSSA to reach that conclusion is inappropriate. To put it mildly.

Nazir has come off the fence and shown who he really is and what he really stands for. He is shoulder to shoulder with the Catholic Church as it tries to minimise its crimes.

He is not on the side of survivors.

Perhaps he doesn’t really understand the complexities and vileness of abusive Catholic culture. When I’ve tried explaining Catholics to outsiders they look at me in absolute horror and disbelief, so it’s a concern. How much homework do you need to do? I’ve spent a lifetime and I’m still coming to grips with its evil and criminal nature.

And should any apologist dismiss this as a silly debate about semantics, I’d refer you to Catholic Canon Law which has provably subverted and defied the Law of the Land by provably advocating leniency towards priest abusers. See my earlier post on Canon Law. The definitions in Nazir’s tweet are an integral component in such leniency.

If there is no real explanation forthcoming for Nazir’s tweet and it was just a thoughtless message, he needs to withdraw it, now, without qualification.

As a survivor of all three of the  categories Nazir is highlighting for our ‘lesson’,  I’m offended by the message that he’s sending out.

So whom do I complain to?

To the CSSA? But Nazir is the Chair.

Or his boss maybe? Cardinal Nichols, who has resisted endless calls on him to resign for his failure to handle clerical sex abuse.

So I will find other ways.   

It’s important because – to quote another survivor – people may wrongly assume that, after decades of appalling responses, Catholic Safeguarding is now doing a good job under new management.  And therefore Catholic children are safe and all is well.

Not so.

See my previous post.

We survivors will be there to challenge Nazir’s inevitable window-dressing PR and damage limitation exercise when it finally comes.

The CSSA needs disbanding and replaced by a genuinely independent body with executive power to cut down the whole orchard of rotten apples.

Meanwhile:

Don’t expect a standing ovation from survivors, Nazir.

Only from your paymasters, the Bishops.

Meeting with Nazir and the CSSA – Catholic Safeguarding Standards Agency

With a number of other Survivors, we had a positive meeting this week with Nazir and his colleagues.

Previously, I had regarded the CSSA and Nazir with some concern. That concern is still there, but, in some areas at least, I was reassured and enlightened by Nazir and his colleagues.

The particular concern of Survivors was regarding the Church’s negative track record and how far it could inhibit and delay change as it has done in the past. That is still a major issue today.

The CSSA is a new agency, with elements of its predecessor, formed in May last year, with the promise of real change as laid down by IICSA.

Yet, after seven months, there has been no sign of change.

It emerged from the meeting that this is because they are running well behind schedule –  the teething problems of a new organisation –  but those promised changes will start manifesting themselves this year, notably from the Spring.

As we’ve waited some seven months already, it seems reasonable to wait a few more months and we’ve agreed to meet in early February to learn more about how matters are progressing.

The CSSA valued and thanked us for our input on various concerns which we appreciated.  They recognised they were on a learning curve and that Survivors can help them on their journey.  Equally, we’ve recognised the CSSA do genuinely intend to make a difference, which is encouraging.

And so to the detail:

TIME COMMITMENT.

A real concern for me and other Survivors was the fact that Nazir was contracted for 16 hours a month and the two key colleagues in attendance were working 3 days a month each.

It seemed impossible to me that they could deal with the complex matters of  Catholic abuse in such a limited time frame.

IIRC, Nazir told me he has now doubled his hours, his two colleagues have added an extra day to their timetables, and they all work beyond their contracted hours. Plus new staff will be taken on in the Spring that will, apparently, make a difference.

I believe there would then be a total of nine people in the CSSA.

Here’s what the CCSA (aka CSA)  say in their record of the minutes:

Patrick asked whether the hours the CSA have are enough to effect change. Nazir said he has a day a week, other Board members 3 days a month.

Nazir feels that more resources are needed and is pushing for this. Hopes in March 2022 plan is to present a business case to expand the staffing of the CSA to allow rigorous and regular scrutiny.

Recognise we need long term financial and work plans to make this work

The minutes are doubtless more precise than my recollection, although the time problem is clearly still there.  However, it would be churlish not to recognise the CSSA’s commitment and enthusiasm to overcome this. Even so, the minutes emphasise this important question:

Why is the Catholic Church keeping the CSSA on such a tight budget , resulting in such short-staffing?

REMIT OF THE CSSA

The CSSA, if I’ve understood it correctly, is a ‘new broom’, an umbrella organisation – with power –  that will audit 22 dioceses, religious groups (maybe the Knights of St Columba who are a religious group of sorts), and effect real change in the Church.

Here’s what the CCSA (aka CSA) say in their record of the minutes:

Nazir said that we are a Regulator and from October 2021 will be holding the Church to account for standards set by the Board.

Everything we do in the future will be informed by what has happened in the past. Live investigations and complaints pre October 2021 will be handled by CSA as they arise but we cannot hold the Church to standards set by us pre Oct 2021.

We will audit Dioceses and Religious Groups and publish the results publicly

Every diocese/RL is contracted to us. CSA powers come from the contractual relationship and will be able to enforce/escalate issues via the Church. Powers will grow as credibility grows and work plan progresses.

And the CSSA is also going to have a high profile in the media, reaching out to more Survivors.

That hasn’t happened so far but, if it’s imminent, that’s good news. Especially as the tabloids  are being considered as a platform. There’s an audience there that really needs to be reached. (My thanks to Raphael for previously emphasising this need.) Nazir talked about an article that he’s currently writing that will appear in the press and where he will lay out the CSSA stall.

He also said, ‘We want Survivors to come to us.’

All this is to be welcomed.

I guess we have to wait before commenting further on the CSSA’s agenda and exactly what ‘auditing’ entails.

UNDERFUNDING?

Nazir also said that the CSSA had experienced I.T. difficulties and this was why their website was not interactive thus far.  For example, with regular announcements, a blog, or a forum.

With public bodies, when there are problems with I.T., these are invariably down to underfunding. They don’t have the budget to fund the latest tech properly.

That may or may not be the case here, but underfunding is certainly emerging as a potential underlying problem with the CSSA.

If confirmed, it raises concerns about the true motives and objectives of the Bishops, whatever they may say in public. They must know you cannot possibly address these complex issues on a shoestring.  So there’s a real danger they could, once again, provide only the illusion of change, just as they have done in the past.  As a Survivor, I regard them with considerable suspicion.

RELIGIOUS ORDERS

The  CSSA is dealing with the Comboni Brothers and other religious groups in future, it says.

But – thus far at least –  it does not deal with the De La Salles religious order.

The DLS Safeguarding is handled by the SCOE (Safeguarding Commission for Orders in Education) and also by the DLS themselves.

This is confusing.  In fact no one seems to have heard of the SCOE and I’m not even sure they have a website.

By comparison, whatever its faults, the CSSA feels potentially dynamic and seems potentially more interactive with Survivors than these agencies.

For instance, the De La Salle Safeguarding website is sterile and has no updates,  comments or apologies about recent court trial of an evil DLS brother who tortured children with electrodes. A Survivor of this DLS monster tells me he has received no offer of compensation from the DLS.  And I know a Survivor of another DLS school who has a similar story.  There is only the standard screed on the DLS site saying how committed they are to Safeguarding. And the DLS has yet to communicate with me, despite launching an inquiry based specifically on allegations on my blog.

SOCIAL MEDIA

I raised this previously and how the CSSA needs a twitter account like myself and other Survivors to share information and respond to issues quickly.  It doesn’t have to be adversarial if Survivors are being listened to.

Nazir had disagreed with me about using his twitter account for work, but I suggested to Jenny at CSSA that a separate CSSA twitter account could be a solution. Thus I have one account for my publishing work and another for Safeguarding issues @PatrickEMills

OTHER CONCERNS

1) It’s a strength of the CSSA that Nazir and his two colleagues we spoke to are not Catholics. So there’s no danger of them being partisan towards the Church because of their upbringing.

However, it’s also a potential weakness, because, arguably, only Catholic Survivors have some understanding of the complexity and deviousness of the Church and its criminal track record.  Hopefully members of the CSSA will gain that knowledge in time.

2) Can the CSSA really act as a regulatory body in all areas affecting Survivors?

For example, Catholic Canon Law clearly and provably contradicts the Law of the Land. Can the CSSA revoke illegal Canon Laws that mitigate and excuse sexual abuse? And which illegal Laws clerics could be guided by, behind the scenes.  I don’t see how.

3) Communication and therapy is also a concern. Such as the need for:

 A Samaritan-style hotline for Survivors.  AFAIK that doesn’t exist.  And a gateway to offer therapy for Survivors. AFAIK that doesn’t exist. I know other agencies may provide this, but it should surely be a part of the CSSA.

A communications officer is also needed whom we can raise relevant underlying issues with – like how successfully Operation Hydrant is dealing with Catholic systemic abuse referred to them by the CSSA and the SCOE.

That one is uppermost in my mind  as detailed allegations against the De La Salles and the Catholic Laity (the Knights of St Columba) are currently with Hydrant.

I want to ensure these allegations are not disappearing into a humungous  ‘slush pile’ which isn’t actioned by the police for many months.

And a communication system is also needed to provide regular updates to Survivors.

All the above involve a number of specialised staff. Some of these duties, currently, will fall on part-timers or other existing  CSSA staff members who, presumably, have a full work load already

 Once again, it looks like funding is the real issue here.

CONCLUSION

 I’m encouraged by Nazir’s hard-hitting words to the Bishops at a conference he attended with them.  He warned them:

 ‘This is the Last Chance Saloon.  Then that’s it.’

Nazir believes the Bishops ‘get it’.  They recognise it’s a ‘different landscape’ now and will respond more positively in future.

We’ll see.

I wish him luck.

Nazir Afzal & The Poisoned Chalice

GUEST BLOG. Anon and other survivors, myself included, are increasingly frustrated by the lack of progress and answers to outstanding issues, like Cardinal Nichols’ promise at IICSA which has not been acted upon. My own view is that the Church is not investing in its Safeguarding Officers. Two important figures who we’ve interacted with only work three days a month. Nazir Afzal, also, is only working part time as Chair.  Also three days a month, So I see these part time jobs, albeit by well meaning, genuine and sincere people, as window dressing by the Church, obscuring the serious lack of action and investment.

I, like other activists, must spend far more than three days a month collating, responding to, and publishing important testimonies, which I’m very happy to do. I need to do it.  But that puts it in perspective. The task of Safeguarding surely requires more full time staff.

So here’s Anon’s view below which I wholeheartedly agree with.

Nazir Afzal & The Poisoned Chalice

The Reality behind the Rhetoric of Roman Catholic Safeguarding Today

Nazir Afzal’s acceptance of the post of Chair of The Catholic Safeguarding Standards Agency inspired a heartfelt sigh of relief from Roman Catholic parishioners, clergy, victims and survivors of abuse and their allies.

The potential was, that after forty years of unmet promises, avoidance, victim blaming & cruel indifference – the Catholic church in England & Wales would stop mistreating the human beings that their clergy sexually abused in childhood. Here was a leader that could be trusted. Sadly, that hope turned out to be a *disappointingly damp* squib. While, Nazir Afzal OBE is indeed now the (3 days a month) chair, he seems to have minimal autonomous authority. He is required to offer up recommendations to Cardinal Nichols for decision making, who arguably should have resigned years ago for his own mishandling of survivors.   

Within the last 3 months, the *brand new* CSSA “doing things differently” have done a lot of things “exactly the same.” Survivors have been exhausted by the agency’s avoidance to provide answers to simple questions and disrespected by unprofessional reception and insulting incompetency. Asked to prove his authenticity by releasing all victims of Roman Catholic abuse silenced by non-disclosure agreements, Nazir is unresponsive.  The Unfinished business of the Catholics are not being addressed by Nazir. Cardinal Nichols promised under oath at IICSA to find out who leaked a survivor’s intimate, confidential information. Neither Nichols nor Nazir have said anything.

When such integral issues are being swept under the carpet, and so much evidence is accumulating about current avoidance – let’s face it – the safety of Roman Catholic children and vulnerable adults is likely to be dangerously compromised. If the regulatory body cannot lead by example, those they advise will just pick up bad habits.

Professor Davis of the Cadbury Centre for Public Understanding of Religion in his letter to the Tablet warned of the The Maze of Pain that survivors experienced recently in their contact with safeguarding personnel.

One admirable, determined survivor recently won a settlement for the way she was mistreated by Catholic safeguarding. A subject access request revealed Safeguarding personnel bitching behind her back, essentially, describing her as needy & manipulative with whom they were “playing the good practice card.”

Those individuals still hold posts in Catholic Safeguarding – so human resources standards are evidently so low they are in the gutter.  

3000 victims of abuse by Roman Catholic clergy et al contacted IICSA. Each and every one will have their story of mistreatment by Catholic Safeguarding and files of documents evidencing that. Each one is likely to be quite curious right now about what was being said behind their backs too. The full scale of the mistreatment of survivors by catholic safeguarding is colossal.

Catholic Safeguarding personnel with appalling track records are still in post across England & Wales.  If Nazir Afzal OBE does not address the barrel of bad apples, he’s going to end up with a stinky mess on his hands.

Will his reputation survive?  

Safeguarding campaigners are twittering about it.

Pat Mills, as usual sums it up with cut to the chase vigour.  

“I see Nazir as a failed symbol of hope, and the sooner we all realise we’re wasting our time in thinking he can lobby for or lead major changes, the sooner we can all move on. He has limited power and extremely limited time and he cannot come close to what abuse lawyer Richard Scorer described as a ‘fundamental reset’ being needed for the Catholic Church’s dealing with abuse.”

Amen. Anon.

STATEMENT FROM THE CATHOLIC SAFEGUARDING STANDARDS AGENCY

I’ve received the statement below from Catholic Safeguarding which I see as a positive and encouraging step forward.

“The information contained within some posts is deeply troubling.  We urge all victims and survivors of Catholic Church related abuse to come forward so that we can offer support and ensure that individuals accused of abuse can be referred to the statutory authorities for investigation.  We will take all necessary steps to ensure that those coming forward are listened to and supported, and that regardless of action by statutory authorities, risks posed by people who currently have roles within the Church are addressed. 

Please contact me at the Catholic Safeguarding Standards Agency (CSSA) via Colette.limbrick@catholicsafeguarding.org.uk or refer directly to the Police so that the appropriate action can be taken”.

Colette Limbrick, CEO, Catholic Safeguarding Standards Agency (CSSA)

BROTHER LAWRENCE HUGHES – NEW THOUGHTS & NAZIR AFZAL

Here’s a new post from Old Boy Michael, who I would assume went to Beulah Hill.

‘I went to a De La Salle school in London and experienced violent behaviour throughout my time at the school. In Northern Ireland they are having a Truth and Reconciliation Commission as part of letting go of the troubles and they asked that we report any violence or other misdemeanour. I emailed the Diocese Office in London and was put in contact with the current head of the De La Salle order in England, a brother named Lawrence Hughes. I then saw that your article named a Brother Lawrence Hughes as a violent teacher. Needless to say I have had a less than satisfactory dialogue with him and I wondered if the current head of the order is the same man that you mentioned.

I cannot remember any teacher who did not cane, strap, beat or punish me. I would appreciate your thoughts.

Regards’

As I’ve replied to Michael, it is indeed the same man: Hughes.

Here’s my current thoughts on the De La Salle order which Hughes is head of.

The problem many survivors face is similar to Michael’s: the Catholic Church and the De La Salle Order passes the buck endlessly and this is what’s happened here.

However, there is a small ray of hope.  A very small ray.

There’s the NEW Catholic Safeguarding Organisation now known as The Catholic Standards Safeguarding Agency CSSA which replaces two earlier systems. 

It happened just this month.

https://www.thetablet.co.uk/news/14149/nazir-afzal-pledges-hostile-church-for-abusers

Its head is Nazir Afzal who is an excellent choice – a Muslim who pursued the Rochdale paedophile rings and he is clearly an honourable and genuine man.

I’m sure the Church’s reason for appointing him is pure window dressing to make them look good and they must have factored in that they can still carry on as before: sweeping everything under the carpet.

I think it may be different with Nazir, even though there is no current mandatory reporting of abuse.

I’ve listened to an excellent audio podcast of Cardinal Nichols’ safeguarding officer a few weeks ago and whilst the lady concerned is clearly genuine it was so obvious her hands were tied.

Nazir is not a Catholic and he has a reputation to uphold, so I’m not sure how far they can restrict him.

Even so, the terms of his remit and the likelihood that endless survivors will come forward means that more buckpassing is likely.  And the Clergy are experts at this. They’ve been doing it for centuries and they’re not stupid. They will have thought about this long and hard before appointing Nazir.

However, I think there’s a case that could be made to the CSSA that the De La Salle Order UK is suspect with a man like Hughes at its head with three testimonies of violence against him. See a past post.

Given that the DLS still run UK schools that does not seem appropriate.

Hughes should resign.

Furthermore, that historic cases against the DLS which have been ignored – such as Michael’s and the endless DLS abuse cases on this blog – should be investigated in order to ensure the DLS is now safe.

It’s no good saying that’s all in the past. It’s still relevant to today.

It’s surely the CSSA’s responsibility to do this, especially given that the DLS have fobbed off survivors as Michael’s post also suggests.

That could be a way forward, Michael. Feel free to use anything on this site, including this post.

Be prepared for the CSSA  to buck pass. To say it’s another department or refer it to the safeguarding at Diocese level. But they just might respond, given that they know their boss is Nazir and they must be scared of more bad publicity.

Nazir is also on Twitter, so if you get screwed around (which I bet you will) you could always approach him direct. Go over their heads.

It’s something I plan to do myself at some point, but my first stage is to do a summary page of the crimes of the DLS for quick reference. Currently there’s far too much for an investigator to read. This includes an example of  DLS serious organized crime which may be transgenerational and thus especially relevant today. (‘The Shocking Truth About St Joseph’s’). In that example, a child nearly died. If he had, it would have been manslaughter. At least.

Summarising will take a while and I need to have the patience to deal with buck passing that will follow.  Plus I’m also pursuing Catholic abusers from a different direction.

But the DLS are still on my radar and I will deal with them soon. Not least because children today in DLS UK schools could still be at risk if a physical abuser like Hughes is still in charge.

Good luck, Michael.