APRIL 27th 2018
Nuns at Nazareth House were angry when police arrived to investigate
A man stripped and beat a boy “black and blue” in an assault at a children’s home, an inquiry has been told.
A witness at the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry, which is investigating the abuse of children in care, said that the man “battered hell” out of him at Nazareth House in Aberdeen in the 1960s when he was 11.
He said “I thought my time was up” and added that the nuns who ran the home would have been aware of the beating but did not come to see how he was.
The hearing in Edinburgh is now into the third day of examining four children’s homes, all of which have since closed, which were run by the Catholic congregation the Sisters of Nazareth. https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/nuns-ignored-beating-of-boy-x7m3sfzrw
A man stripped and beat a boy “black and blue” in an assault at a children’s home, an inquiry has heard.
A witness at the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry said the man “battered hell” out of him at Nazareth House in Aberdeen in the 1960s when he was 11 years old.
He told the inquiry: “I thought my time was up.”
According to the witness the nuns who ran the home would have been aware of the incident but did not come to see how he was
The witness said the nuns who ran the home would have been aware of the incident but did not come to see how he was.
The hearing in Edinburgh is now into the third day of examining four children’s homes, no longer operating, which were run by the Catholic congregation the Sisters of Nazareth in Scotland.
The witness, now in his 60s, who cannot be identified, said he was attacked by the man – a regular visitor to the Aberdeen institution – after he was caught fighting or arguing with another boy.
He said: “He grabbed hold of me. He dragged me into a bathroom and battered hell out of me.”
The man had taken off the boy’s clothes, leaving him naked as he was punched, the inquiry was told.
“I was black and blue all over my body” said the witness, who could not recall how long the episode lasted.
He told senior counsel to the inquiry Colin MacAulay QC he has no idea why he was stripped, adding: “It’s not exactly a normal thing to do, is it, to a young boy? It’s a bit peculiar.”
He agreed he was shouting and screaming during the assault, which left him with bruises “all over my face, my back, my front and my legs”.
Pressed on whether the nuns would have been aware of the incident, he replied: “Yes definitely, they were aware but not one nun approached me.”
He told how he was unable to sleep that night and assumed he would not be going to school the next morning.
However, he said one nun told him: “Don’t think you’re getting away with not going to school.”
The witness told how the bus driver then referred him to the school headmaster and the police were called.
Officers later took him back to the home at Nazareth House, he told the inquiry, at which point a nun “took me into a wee side room and pulled me up for getting the police involved”. He added: “I told her it was the headmaster who called the police, not me.”
The witness said police had a word with the man but he did not believe the man was prosecuted.
“The annoying thing is he was back in the home that night, the next night after he assaulted me,” the witness added. “He was there every night for the next four years that I was there.”
The witness earlier told how the man would regularly turn up at the home at night, but he did not know what the purpose of the visits was.
“All the kids were terrified of him,” he said.
The witness also told how the nuns at the home were “quite abusive” and left him with a phobia of nuns ever since.
The inquiry, before Lady Smith, continues. https://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/scottish-news/man-stripped-beat-boy-black-12431851
APRIL 25th 2018
APRIL 24th 2018
A senior figure in the Catholic Church has been accused of orchestrating a “hostile rejection” of claims nuns were involved in the abuse of children.
The Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry is currently hearing evidence relating to alleged abuse at four former children’s homes run by the Sisters of Nazareth.
Yesterday a lawyer for the victims said Archbishop Emeritus Mario Conti had dismissed the allegations at Nazareth House in Aberdeen while bishop in the city, even allegedly referring to survivors as “the opposition”.
The inquiry also heard the congregation had previously denied there had been volunteers working in its establishments, despite the conviction earlier this year of a man who sexually abused three children at a home in Glasgow in the 1980s while working as a volunteer.
The inquiry, led by Lady Smith, yesterday heard police have received 308 complaints about 194 people associated with the institutions over a 50-year period.
Two senior figures from the order, who are not the subject of abuse allegations, sat in the public gallery as former residents spoke of a catalogue of abuse, including beatings, force-feedings and humiliations administered for wetting the bed.
One former resident, known only as “Rose” and now in her 70s, described one of the nuns at Nazareth House in Aberdeen as a “witch” who would bang children’s heads together or off walls if she considered them to be misbehaving.
Simon Collins, a solicitor representing In-Care Abuse Survivors (Incas), said there had been a refusal to believe survivors in the past which had led to “missed opportunities”.
He said: “The attitude of the Catholic Church will also feature (in the upcoming evidence), with some letters from the then Bishop Mario Conti of Aberdeen of particular interest.
“In one, while discussing arrangements for refreshments at some sort of demonstration in favour of the Sisters, he makes what appears to be a reference to survivors as ‘the opposition’.
“In another, he issues the challenge that ‘Those who call others to account for their actions must be prepared to defend their own when they make allegations.’ Such remarks were certainly felt by survivors as pressure and threats.”
He added: “It is hard to avoid the thought that the bishop’s apparent anger and energy might have been more productive at the time if it had been put into more serious investigation of allegations as opposed to hostile rejection. He would be an interesting witness in this chapter.”
David Anderson, representing the Bishops’ Conference, said it was clear that not taking matters seriously in the past had been the “wrong thing to do”.
Giving evidence on behalf of the Sisters of Nazareth last year, Sister Anna Maria Doolan admitted children had been abused and said the order was “very sorry”. The inquiry continues. https://www.scotsman.com/news/politics/archbishop-conti-accused-of-calling-child-abuse-victims-the-opposition-1-4729804
YOUNG girl was told “the devil was inside” he as she was beaten by a nun at a Scots children’s home.
The Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry heard claims of beatings at the hands of nuns, force-feeding to the point of vomiting, being locked in a dark room and being made to bathe in disinfectant.
Children were also told that nobody wanted them, the inquiry heard, while one witness said she was told “the devil was inside me” as a nun hit her.
“The psychological damage I saw people suffering … it’s unbelievable,” another witness told the hearing in Edinburgh.
The inquiry heard that police in Scotland have received more than 300 complaints of alleged abuse over a 50 year period at children’s homes run by a Catholic congregation. Officers have received 308 complaints about 194 people associated with institutions run by the Sisters of Nazareth from the 1930s to 1980s. The figure emerged as witnesses recounted a number of incidents of abuse they said they suffered at the order’s home in Aberdeen around the 1940s and 1950s.
The inquiry has begun hearing evidence about homes run by the order in four locations including: Aberdeen, Cardonald in Glasgow, Lasswade near Edinburgh and Kilmarnock in Ayrshire.
In opening remarks, Laura-Anne van der Westhuizen, representing Police Scotland, told chair Lady Smith: “Since 1995, police investigations have been undertaken in relation to reported abuse dating back to the 1930s within the Sisters of Nazareth institutions. Police Scotland has recovered records of complaints received from 308 former residents against 194 persons associated with children’s residences within Nazareth House institutions between 1934 and 1984. To date, 58 files concerning Sister of Nazareth institutions have been provided to the inquiry.”
One witness said today: “We were never loved, ever, by any of them.”
The woman now in her 70s, who cannot be named, was at the Aberdeen home in the 1940s and 1950s. She said she rarely saw her siblings and did not know her surname until she was 12 years old.
The witness told how one nun would make misbehaving children get down on their knees in front of her and she would bang their heads together.
She also recounted having to dust coffins which she believed contained the bodies of nuns and smelt of “death”. “You can’t forget that smell,” she said.
Mark Lindsay, solicitor for the Sisters of Nazareth, earlier repeated an “unreserved” apology to anyone abused in the congregation’s care. The inquiry continues on Wednesday. https://www.thescottishsun.co.uk/news/2551156/nuns-abuse-devil-sisters-of-nazareth-child-abuse-inquiry/