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This book is a personal testament by its author of his experiences in both junior and senior Catholic seminaries and recollections from his life in the surrounding years. Fr. Steve's story is at times a painful one. It is impossible not to sympathise with the suffering he and others have endured and to hope that committing his experiences to paper will help him to heal and recover. Fr. Steve has requested a leave of abscence in order to consult professional help to aid his recovery; this has been granted by Archbishop O'Brien.

Archbishop Keith Patrick O'Brien has for more than a decade, provided, help and support to Fr. Steve and will continue to do so. He has stated: "As an Archbishop in the Catholic Church, I apologise unreservedly to Father Steve Gilhooley and to others who, over the years, have suffered any form of abuse at the hands of those representing the Catholic Church. I welcome the measures implemented by the Bishops' Conference of Scotland, designed to prevent any type of abuse ever happening again."

Steps taken by the Catholic Church in Scotland in recent years, as well as work done in England and Wales have contributed significantly towards child safety. Specifically; "Keeping Children Safe", 1999 and "Nolan Review on child protection" September 2001, comprehensively tackle the issue of child protection with the goal being safety and security for young people and children within the church environment at all times. Protection however is an ongoing duty and the church will always be open to new strategies and ideas and ready to adopt, "best practice" wherever it may be found.

Mindful of the widespread nature of child abuse, the Catholic Church in Scotland urges all groups, organizations and institutions dealing with children to produce their own child protection strategies and stands ready to assist others in doing so.

ENDS

Peter Kearney,  
Director
Catholic Media Office,
0141 221 1168(O)  
pk@scmo.org

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