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After carefully considering the Government's most recent guidance, the‌ ‌Inquiry‌ ‌has‌ ‌taken‌ ‌the‌ ‌difficult decision‌‌ to‌ ‌suspend our public hearing 'Child Protection in Religious Organisations and Settings' until further notice.

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:

The final public hearing in this investigation took place from 28 October to 8 November 2019.

A report on the Archdiocese of Birmingham case study was published on 20 June 2019 and is available to read here. A report into Ampleforth and Downside schools, part of the English Benedictine Congregation case study, is available to read here. A further report into Ealing Abbey and St Benedict’s School, also part of the English Benedictine Congregation case study, was published on 24 October 2019.

The final report in this investigation is being prepared and will be published in due course.

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

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