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| | News Releases, Christianity
28 September
Sep 28
28th September 2000

Statement on the conclusion of the trial of Sister Marie Docherty of the Sisters of Nazareth.Statement on the conclusion of the trial of Sister Marie Docherty of the Sisters of Nazareth.Sister Marie Docherty has been found guilty of four substantially reduced charges of cruel and unnatural treatment of children in her care.She was originally charged with the systematic abuse of 23 children. The prosecution failed to establish this.We can confidently restate that cruel and unnatural treatment did not form part of any official policy of discipline promoted or accepted by the Sisters or the Church then or now.It is true that codes and practices of discipline, intended for the good of children within local authority care, have changed drastically over the last 30 years. Some practices which, rightly, today seem excessive and even cruel, would not necessarily have been viewed in this light many years ago. Nevertheless some actions are always wrong, and we deeply regret every one which may have left its mark on the lives of vulnerable individuals, and have affected their sense of personal worth.These convictions do not moreover invalidate the great good which was done by the Sisters of Nazareth, including Sister Marie, in caring competently and appropriately for many thousands of children over the last hundred years. Many testimonials to this effect have been received by the Bishop personally and by the Sisters. They have been attested to in open court.The Catholic Church, in common with other public bodies to whom the care of vulnerable persons is entrusted, applauds and fully supports the policy changes which lead to the safe and positive development of persons to their full human dignity.28th September 2000...

| | News Releases, Christianity
6 August
Aug 6
6th August 2000

Dumbarton school pupil Claire Morgan (18) is the winner of the Photography Competition promoted by the Vatican Commission for the Cultural Heritage of the  Church and the Council of Europe.Her portfolio, in pictures and prose, illustrated the Island of the Nun.Her prize - a three-day visit to Rome hosted by the Commission will in all likelihood include an audience with the Pope.Cardinal Winning, on behalf of the Scottish Bishops' Conference will hand over the airline tickets etc. to Claire at a brief ceremony on MONDAY 12TH JUNE AT 2.00 P.M.ENDSYOU ARE WARMLY INVITED TO SEND A PHOTOGRAPHER/REPORTERPlace: 196, CLYDE STREET, GLASGOW.  Date: MONDAY 12TH JUNE 2000  Time: 2.00 P.M.  PR 080600...

| | News Releases, Christianity
6 August
Aug 6
6th August 2000

A three-fold call to confidence, courage and contemplation is made by Archbishop Keith O'Brien in his Address to some 6,000 Catholics gathered at Livingston Football Stadium to celebrate the Jubilee Year. "All three are needed", he said "if we are to take seriously our role as Christians, witnessing to the Good News in our world today". "We must try to help break down the chains which are enslaving so many people" declared the Archbishop and he identified them as "the homeless, the elderly, and so many others in need of help".  A three-fold call to confidence, courage and contemplation is made by Archbishop Keith O'Brien in his Address to some 6,000 Catholics gathered at Livingston Football Stadium to celebrate the Jubilee Year. "All three are needed", he said "if we are to take seriously our role as Christians, witnessing to the Good News in our world today". "We must try to help break down the chains which are enslaving so many people" declared the Archbishop and he identified them as "the homeless, the elderly, and so many others in need of help".  Developing his theme, the Archbishop continued "Walking along the streets of most of our towns and cities at this present time, it is hard to avoid those who are sleeping and sheltering in shop doorways, with cardboard boxes their only cover. Aid agencies cannot cope with the numbers who are turning to them for food, clothing or financial assistant. There are those who are held captive - by the abuse of drink, of drugs, through the abuse of their own sexuality, because of tragic marriage situations. We witness those who are blind in our midst - whose eyes are not open to the love of God, who themselves rarely witness love from anyone, who are not aware of the way they can share God's love in the Sacrament of Matrimony. There are those at home and abroad who are indeed downtrodden --whom the scourge of poverty and debt afflicts, who are condemned to a lifetime of mere existence, who live in countries struggling under the intolerable burden of irrepayable debt".Not an easy task admitted the Archbishop, hence the need to be a person of prayer, in order to gain the confidence and courage essential if we are to proclaim the Good News in action as well as words.ENDSNOTE TO EDITORS: You are cordially invited to send a reporter/photographerContact: Rena McVey - Tel: 01236-760085 for requisite Pass.  Event: Catholics Celebrate the Jubilee.  Place: Almondvale Stadium, Livingston.  Date: Saturday 10th June 2000  Time: From 2.00 p.m. - 3.00 p.m. Celebration in Drama, Music and Song.  3.30 p.m. - 5.00 p.m. Celebration with Cardinal Winning and the Apostolic Nuncio with the Scottish Bishops.  PR 080600...