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Cafod bows to pressure to reject McBride book royalties

Cafod bows to pressure to reject McBride book royalties
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Cafod bows to pressure to reject McBride book royalties

Governance | Tania Mason | 3 Oct 2013

Cafod will not accept the royalties from its communications director Damian McBride’s controversial political memoir, according to the Catholic Herald.

The Catholic charity’s chief executive Chris Bain issued a statement to the Herald earlier this week which said: “After careful reflection, the trustees and senior management of Cafod have decided to decline the royalties from the book written by Damian McBride about his time working in politics.

“We have appreciated the feedback offered by members of the Catholic community and wish to express once again our gratitude for all the generous support given to Cafod’s work.”

Cafod had come under pressure to refuse the royalties by another Catholic publication, The Tablet.  Its editor, Catherine Pepinster, tweeted a message calling on the charity to “disassociate” itself from the royalties.

Initially, Cafod wholeheartedly supported McBride, with a spokeswoman stating: “It would go against all our Catholic values - including our belief in forgiveness and redemption - to judge him for the behaviour and character he demonstrated in the past rather than what we see for ourselves today.”

McBride’s explosive memoir about his time in in government, Power Trip, was published last week and serialised in the Daily Mail a week earlier. His admissions about the way he attempted to smear opponents of his boss, Gordon Brown, led to calls for him to lose his civil service pension and be interviewed by police.

McBride himself also gave a statement to the Catholic Herald about the royalties, which said: “As I wrote in the Catholic Herald last year, ‘Cafod sees itself as nothing more than the sum of its supporters, its core purpose the living expression of their faith.’

“Given the concerns raised by a number of those supporters about proceeds from my book being used to support the agency’s work, it is totally understandable that Cafod has rejected my proposed donation, and I can only apologise for the critical and unfair associations made between the book and Cafod’s work over the last fortnight.

“The fact that Cafod is both inspired and led by its supporters is one of the reasons I am so proud to work for the agency, and I will continue to do so to the best of my abilities in the years to come. It remains my intention to donate all my royalties from sales of the book to other good causes.”

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