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Child Sexual Abuse in the Roman Catholic Church - scope

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

1. The Inquiry will investigate the nature and extent of, and institutional responses to, child sexual abuse within the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales (‘the Catholic Church’). The inquiry will incorporate case­specific investigations and a review of information available from published and unpublished reports and reviews, court cases, and previous investigations in relation to child sexual abuse by those associated with the Catholic Church.

2. In doing so, the Inquiry will consider the experiences of victims and survivors of child sexual abuse within the Catholic Church, and investigate:

2.1. the prevalence of child sexual abuse within the Catholic Church;

2.2. the adequacy of the Catholic Church’s policies and practices in relation to safeguarding and child protection, including considerations of governance, training, recruitment, leadership, reporting and investigation of child sexual abuse, disciplinary procedures, information sharing with outside agencies, and approach to reparations;

2.3. the extent to which the culture within the Catholic Church inhibits or inhibited the proper investigation, exposure and prevention of child sexual abuse; and

2.4. the adequacy of previous reviews of safeguarding and child protection in the Catholic Church, including but not limited to the Nolan Review and Cumberlege Commission; and the extent to which the recommendations made in such reviews have been implemented in policy and practice.

3. As case studies, the Inquiry will investigate:

3.1. the English Benedictine Congregation and, consider, in particular:

3.1.1. the nature and extent of child sexual abuse by individuals associated with the Congregation including, but not limited to, teachers in Benedictine schools;

3.1.2. the nature and extent of any failures of the English Benedictine Congregation, the Catholic Church and/or other institutions or agencies to protect children from such abuse;

3.1.3. the adequacy of the response of the English Benedictine Congregation, the Catholic Church, law enforcement agencies, prosecuting authorities and any other relevant institutions to allegations of child sexual abuse by individuals associated with the Congregation;

3.1.4. the extent to which the English Benedictine Congregation and the Catholic Church sought to investigate, learn lessons, implement changes, and/or provide support and reparation to victims and survivors, in response to:

a) allegations of child sexual abuse by individuals associated with the Congregation;

b) criminal investigations and prosecutions and/or civil litigation relating to child sexual abuse by individuals associated with the Congregation;

c) investigations, reviews or inquiries into child sexual abuse within the Congregation, including but not limited to: Dr Elizabeth Mann’s 2003 review of Ampleforth School; the Independent School Inspectorate’s 2010 inspection into St Benedict’s School; Lord Carlile’s 2011 inquiry into St Benedict’s School/Ealing Abbey; the apostolic visitation of 2011; and the Charity Commission’s inquiries into Ealing Abbey; and/or

d) other external guidance.

3.1.5. the adequacy of child protection and safeguarding policy and practice across the English Benedictine Congregation during the relevant period, including the adequacy of any response to the recommendations of the Nolan and Cumberlege Commissions.

3.2. the Catholic Archdiocese of Birmingham and, consider, in particular:

3.2.1. the nature and extent of child sexual abuse by individuals associated with the Archdiocese;

3.2.2. the nature and extent of any failures of the Catholic Church, the Archdiocese, law enforcement agencies, prosecuting authorities, and/or other public authorities or statutory agencies to protect children from such abuse;

3.2.3. the adequacy of the response of the Catholic Church, including through the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Birmingham, and the response of any other relevant institutions to allegations of child sexual abuse by individuals associated with the Archdiocese;

3.2.4. the extent to which the Catholic Church, including through the Archdiocese, sought to investigate, learn lessons, implement changes and provide support and reparations to victims and survivors, in response to:

a) allegations of child sexual abuse by individuals associated with the Archdiocese;

b) criminal investigations and prosecutions, civil litigation and other complaints relating to child sexual abuse by individuals associated with the Diocese;

c) investigations, reviews or inquiries into child sexual abuse within the Archdiocese;

d) disciplinary measures taken against clergy; and/or

e) other internal or external reviews or guidance.

4. In relation to each case study, the Inquiry will consider:

4.1. how the specific relationship between the Order or Archdiocese which is the subject of the case study and the Catholic Church in England and Wales impacts on child protection; and

4.2. the extent to which any failings identified by the Inquiry in relation to the Order or Archdiocese which is the subject of the case study are representative of failings within the Catholic Church in general.

5. In light of the investigations and case studies set out above, the Inquiry will publish a report setting out its findings, lessons learned, and recommendations to improve child protection and safeguarding in England and Wales.

Child Sexual Abuse in the Roman Catholic Church - Definition of Scope

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