Senior Scottish Catholic sorry over sex claims

4th August 2013, Comments 0 comments

A senior Scottish bishop on Sunday apologised on behalf of the Catholic church over claims of physical and sexual abuse at one of the country's best known boarding schools.

"It is a most bitter, shaming and distressing thing that in this former abbey school a small number of baptised, consecrated and ordained Christian men physically or sexually abused those in their care," said Bishop of Aberdeen, Hugh Gilbert.

He referred to the abuse claims at Fort Augustus Abbey School and its feeder school during an address to parishioners.

Scottish police on Monday confirmed they were investigating claims of physical and sexual abuse following a BBC investigation which gathered evidence from former pupils at the now-closed school and its preparatory school Carlekemp, run by Benedictine monks.

The programme, "BBC Scotland Investigates: Sins of Our Fathers" -- aired on Monday -- spoke to 50 pupils and obtained evidence of abuse spanning 30 years.

The head of the country's Benedictines, Dom Richard Yeo, has already apologised to any victims.

"I want to say that I'm very sorry about any abuse that may have been committed at Fort Augustus," he told the BBC.

Gilbert added: "I know that Abbot Richard Yeo has offered an apology to those who have suffered such abuse and I join him in that.

The programme contained claims against seven Fort Augustus monks and allegations that two headmasters covered up the scandal.

© 2013 AFP

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