Solicitor demands inquiry into abuse at St William's care home for boys
CHILD abuse by members of the clergy should be subjected to a public inquiry, a campaigner has said.
Solicitor David Greenwood, who is representing more than 150 victims of abuse at a Market Weighton care home for boys, is launching the campaign for an inquiry.
Mr Greenwood, of Jordan's Solicitors, is fighting for compensation for the men who suffered physical and sexual abuse at the hands of staff at the now-demolished St William's through the 1960s to the 1990s.
Mr Greenwood said: "The Church is responsible for covering up sexual abuse by members of the clergy up and down the country.
CAR KEYS AND REMOTES "FREE REMOTE KEY FOB BATTERY" 01482 423414 ...View details
FOR ALL YOUR CAR KEY NEEDS CALL US NOW ON
SNAPPED KEYS, LOST KEYS, KEYS LOCKED IN VEHICLES,
WE ALSO REPAIR 90% OF ALL REMOTES AND KEYS, NO FIX NO CHARGE.
Terms: FREE REMOTE KEY FOB BATTERY ONE PER CUSTOMER
Contact: 01482 423414
Valid until: Friday, May 31 2013
"For too long, the victims and their families have worked in isolation across many different dioceses, experiencing the same lack of support.
"The cover-ups have led to children being exposed to serious sexual offenders and it cannot be allowed to continue any further."
Mr Greenwood will lead a launch at a London hotel today on behalf of the Stop Church Child Abuse – an alliance of sexual abuse victims, charities, specialist lawyers and people involved in safeguarding children.
It comes as a third police inquiry is being conducted into sexual assault at the former care home.
Former principal Brother James Carragher was jailed after the first two inquiries.
The home closed in the mid-1990s amid spiralling debts and the initial child sex scandal.
Father Anthony McCallen, who often gave Mass at the home, was also jailed for abusing boys in his parish in Hull.
Carragher was a member of the De La Salle Order of Christian Brothers – a teaching ministry employed by the Diocese Of Middlesbrough to run the school.
Mr Greenwood said: "It is high time the Government intervened and took on the churches.
"The Roman Catholic Church believes canon law sits above English law and that needs to change. They take their orders from Rome and no one else.
"I have been involved with the victims of abuse for more than a decade and I cannot believe how barefaced the church elders can be.
"They show no compassion and behave like any other PLC.
"They persistently put the reputation of the ministry ahead of what is right for the victims."
The campaign will call on the Government to set up an Independent Commission of Inquiry into child sexual abuse perpetrated by clergy, religious and other church officials within all dioceses and institutions of the Catholic Church in England and Wales and the Church of England and in Wales.
The charity wants the inquiry to have powers to compel the disclosure of all files of clergy, religious and other church officials containing reports and allegations of child sexual abuse.
It is also fighting for the inquiry to receive evidence from victims also be able to compel those in positions of authority within dioceses and religious orders to attend and give evidence.
Mr Greenwood said: "These victims are telling the truth and it is time they were listened to. We have to start relying on the facts and not let the Church get away with any more cover ups.
"Currently, bishops decide themselves whether to tell anyone else about any allegation, whereas they should be compelled to inform the appropriate authorities."