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Child Sexual Abuse in the Roman Catholic Church

An inquiry into the extent of any institutional failures to protect children from sexual abuse within the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales.

The sexual abuse of children within the Roman Catholic Church has been a matter of national and international concern for many years: the Archbishop of Westminster’s calls for this Inquiry to be established reflected that concern.

This investigation will consider the extent to which the Nolan and Cumberlege reviews of child protection in the Roman Catholic Church improved the Church’s policy and practice. Specific case studies will be identified by the investigation. The first case study will examine the English Benedictine Congregation which has been the subject of numerous allegations of child sexual abuse, including at schools run by the Congregation. The Inquiry will examine the relationship between Orders such as the Benedictines and the Catholic Church in England and Wales and consider how that relationship impacts on child protection. In this way the Inquiry will evaluate whether any failings identified within the English Benedictine Congregation, and within any other case studies identified as part of the investigation, are representative of wider failings within the Catholic Church.

Next Steps:

A preliminary hearing in this investigation took place on Thursday 23 May 2019 at 2.00pm.

A public hearing will take place on Monday 28 October 2019 to 8 November 2019 at the Inquiry hearing centre at 18 Pocock Street, London SE1 0BW.

A report on the Archdiocese of Birmingham case study is being published on 20 June 2019.

The Inquiry is encouraging all victims and survivors of child sexual abuse to share their experience.

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