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View and download our new Learning Resource (29 page pdf) and flyer (2 page pdf). 

Please circulate and post the flyer around your parishes and contacts.


Maggie Mathews transcript (pdf) - 

'It's our church and it's up to us' 

matters to survivors of clerical power abuse ...

'...the feeling of being seen, heard and valued, and appreciation of the time and effort that's gone into this resource gives me both hope and a sense of belonging. I look forward to seeing the results being used, to hearing feedback from it and I would be interested to see what kinds of discussions it provokes. Will it change minds and hearts? Will it change people's perceptions of victims & survivors in a positive way? Will clergy take the time to read and use it?'

'It might mean that survivors feel others in the church are actually bothered about what has happened to us. If ordinary people in the church spoke up, it would contrast massively with the silence and disbelief that we are used to.'

Anchor 1



from the

Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors.

Many survivors and safeguarders are shocked.

To make more sense of the complicated Vatican picture,

click to hear or read

Baroness Sheila Hollins, formerly of the PCPM,

on the R4 Sunday programme on Easter morning.

Radio 4 Sunday - Baroness Sheila Hollins
00:00 / 07:39

Welcome! To ‘Stolen Lives’


Stolen Lives is for all of us.

Anyone who wants to contribute to making the Church a safe, inclusive and just Church.

Anyone who wants to understand more about the abuse of power and the process of cover-up in the Catholic Church.

Anyone who wants to appreciate the life-long impact of clerical sexual violence and other forms of abuse on victims and survivors.

Anyone who wants to break through the silence barrier that surrounds sexual and other forms of abuse in the Catholic Church.


Our resources:


We pledge that all our resources will be available free of charge to anyone who wishes to read or use them.


Stolen Lives - a series of five survivor-led talks on abuse of power and it’s cover-up in the church.

A learning resource, ‘Telling the Stories that need to be told’, which is based around Survivor’s Stories

and the five talks in the Stolen Lives series.


In partnership with the

Scottish Laity Network, Survivor Voices/Loud Fence -

Reclaiming Stolen Lives -

two talks focused on actions that we can take

to break through the silence and avoidance

surrounding abuse and contribute to change.

Resources for Support and Information


Summary - 


Detail -

The Tyrant and the Child’ by Penelope Middleboe.

Pastoral Review, July 2022.

How to mend a broken heart’, by Catherine Pepinster,

The Tablet 30 July 2022. This article reports on our analysis of the Diocesan Syntheses in England & Wales relating to abuse.

These freely available and downloadable learning resource is for anyone who wants to  understand more about the abuse of power in the Catholic Church and its impact on victims and survivors. It's for anyone who wants to heal the horrendous, ongoing wounds – physical, spiritual, institutional, reputational - of clerical abuse.  


Full report here:-

View & download pdf here:

View & download pdf here:


Full report here:-

View & download pdf here:

View & download pdf here:

The Tyrant and the Child

Tyrant and Child

Root & Branch and Scottish Laity Network are deeply grateful to MACSAS (Ministry and Clerical Sexual Abuse Survivors) and Catholic Survivors

for supporting us and guiding our planning.


This powerful series seeks positive, lay-led and empowering outcomes to create

a safe and just church for all people, especially the most vulnerable.


Sadly there can be a huge distance between what we say we want and what we’re prepared to make happen. 


We hope that anyone who wants to contribute, in whatever way, to making the Church safe, inclusive and just will find that Stolen Lives helps them to understand the true scale of the issues involved.

We hope that you will draw inspiration from the courage of survivors and the deep thinking of our speakers and others.

Root & Branch and the Scottish Laity Network are very grateful to all our thought-provoking speakers for their permission to develop a learning resource based on their four talks. We would be honoured if people from other religions find it helpful in their own understanding of institutional abuse and its impact. 


Gerald Arbuckle SM, one of the people who inspired us to develop Stolen Lives and author of 'Abuse and Cover-Up, Refounding the Catholic Church in Trauma', (2019) told us  'It is unique. Nothing like it exists that so clearly articulates the tragedies that survivors have and are experiencing. Yet it is a document of hope. Readers are invited to journey personally and collectively to build a church in which these tragedies do not exist.'

“Heartbreakingly brave speakers.”


“Extraordinarily powerful, moving, courageous.”

"As a survivor I am so grateful to you."

Please catch up with our recordings below.


Fr Hans Zollner SJ - 2nd November 2022


Antonia Sobocki - 16th November 2022

Baroness Sheila Hollins

Craigmyle Lecture - 28th November

Safeguarding children and vulnerable adults

and Insights from the Vatican

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