The findings of the IICSA report about Ealing Abbey, published on 24 October 2019 were disseminated by the Times, Telegraph and in The Guardian as well as the Evening Standard, The Tablet, Catholic Herald, BBC and other publications. These findings call for an enormous task of restorative action and justice for Ealing Abbey to undertake so that we can be truly accountable, make amends and to win trust back.
However, with Safeguarding structures now in place, we believe we are beginning to create a new culture of relatedness and we intend to keep up the good work.
A year ago Ealing Abbey organised a day conference on 'Growing Together: Healing the History of child sexual abuse'. Abbot Martin Shipperlee opened the conference by speaking openly and honestly on behalf of the church, "Yes," he said, "we have made huge mistakes and the priests involved have been punished. Now, in order to move forward, we need to look critically at the system of the church where these hideous crimes could flourish and we must take action."
Father Hans Zollner SJ, head of the Centre for Child Protection at the Gregorian University was the keynote speaker at that event.
Practical action by the monks of Ealing Abbey since then, throughout the past year, has led up to a facilitated mini-conference on Saturday 26 October on 'Growing in Connectedness: discovering the source of our power.' We invited ordinary Catholics, lay, religious and clergy and we spoke together of the shame, shock, confusion and pain inflicted on the innocent children, their families and the whole Church community.
We are beginning to provide a place where victims and survivors, whether direct or indirect sufferers, now grown up, can find a place to be heard and cared for. We shall continue to meet every two weeks as a Community of Practice, where we shall learn and study and act in the world. Ealing Abbey has also established a new initiative called, 'London Spring' where we offer subsidised low-cost counselling.
Fr James Leachman OSB
Ealing Abbey - https://ealingmonks.org.uk/
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