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IICSA Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse

The Roman Catholic Church Investigation Report

Contents

C.1: Introduction

1. The Pope is the Bishop of Rome and leader of the worldwide Roman Catholic Church (the Universal Church). He is assisted by a number of organisations and bodies to help him exercise his universal role. The Pope and those organisations and bodies are known as the Holy See. Based in Rome, the Holy See is in effect the seat of government of the Roman Catholic Church. As an international legal person, the Holy See has rights and obligations under public international law.

2. The Holy See’s ambassador in England and Wales is known as the Apostolic Nuncio (also referred to as the Papal Nuncio) and has diplomatic status.[1] He acts as the Holy See’s official representative to the UK government. He also engages with the Bishops’ Conference in “an advisory and supportive role”.[2] The Apostolic Nuncio’s involvement in a child sexual abuse allegation “consists of transmission of documentation to and from” the relevant department of the Holy See.[3]

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