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Inquiry announces publication date for Catholic Church report

9 October 2020

The Inquiry will publish its overarching Catholic Church investigation report at midday on Tuesday 10 November.

This report is based on public hearings held during October and November 2019, which examined the response of the Catholic Church to allegations of child sexual abuse, as well as the adequacy of the current safeguarding regime and any improvements needed to policies and practices.

The hearings examined the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors and the Valladolid (Campus) Training and took a closer look at the National Catholic Safeguarding Commission and the Catholic Safeguarding Advisory Service.

The Inquiry heard evidence from senior Church leaders, safeguarding experts and victims and survivors on their views of the Church’s response to allegations of child sexual abuse and the help and reparations offered to victims and survivors. 

As well as evidence heard during that hearing, this report will consider common themes and issues identified by the Inquiry in relation to the Roman Catholic Church as a whole within its previous reports.

The Inquiry previously held public hearings into the Diocese of Birmingham and the English Benedictine Congregation case studies of Ampleforth, Downside and Ealing Abbey and St Benedict's Schools. The reports into those case studies, published in August 2018 and June and October 2019, concluded that the Church’s response to claims of child sexual abuse was marked by cover-up, denial and the failure to act. 

The reports also identified themes in the institutional responses to child sexual abuse by the Catholic Church, describing a closed and defensive culture, where leaders were reluctant to support allegations of abuse for fear it would undermine the institutions and the Church. That made it harder for complaints to be made, and easier for the abuse to continue.

The full report and executive summary will be published on the Inquiry’s website.

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