The Bishop of Leeds, the Rt Rev Marcus Stock, said that he had spent much time “praying and reflecting” on how to express the shame he felt for the victims’ of abuse and their subsequent treatment. He offered the men his “heartfelt apology for the pain and trauma” they had experienced. He went on to say “I wish, therefore here and now, to apologise to you personally and unreservedly for the childhood sexual abuse you suffered”.
The Bishop’s comments come in relation to men who were sexually abused as boys at a training school for Roman Catholic Priests. The group were pupils at St Peter Claver College in West Yorkshire when they were abused in the 1960’s and 70’s.
He went on to say that the Pope was aware that the men had not had an “adequate pastoral response” from the leadership of the Comboni Order.
One survivor of the abuse said the bishop’s apology was the first time a senior figure in the church had acknowledged what had happened to them.
The apology is seen by some as a change in the Catholic church, where people are beginning to listen to survivors of abuse.
The Comboni Order has already paid compensation to 11 men who said they had been abused at the college.
The apology comes at a time where abuse within religious orders is finally being recognised, with the Church of England committing to set up a redress scheme.
Our highly experienced team have brought many claims against the Church for abuse perpetrated by members of the clergy, choirmasters and organists.
Verisona Law has a very deserved reputation as one of the country’s best known specialists in child abuse law. If anyone has been affected by the issues in this case and would like to discuss their legal rights in seeking redress then please do not hesitate to speak to our award winning team, who will be able to speak to you about your rights in complete confidence.
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