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IICSA Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse

The Roman Catholic Church (EBC) Case Study: Ealing Abbey and St Benedict’s School Investigation Report

G.3: Accountability

10. We were told that the EBC is implementing a number of measures designed to improve accountability for child sexual abuse within their institutions.

11. The safeguarding practices of all EBC monasteries will be audited by Praesidium, a secular, non-profit organisation based in the USA specialising in child protection and safeguarding.[1]

12. Abbot President Jamison told us that Praesidium has developed a safeguarding audit programme which has been used for several years by the majority of Benedictine monasteries in the USA. This programme is based on a number of Accreditation Standards which relate to the prevention of abuse (for example, the screening and training of new monks), responding to abuse (for example, the handling of disclosures) and the supervision of abusers (for example, the support and accountability systems in place for known abusers). These standards have been adapted, in consultation with the CSAS, to the safeguarding requirements and ecclesiastical standards applicable in England and Wales.[2]

13. We understand that Praesidium has been working with individual monasteries since July 2018 to improve their practices and ensure that its Accreditation Standards are adhered to. In addition, on the basis of its audits, Praesidium will submit safeguarding reports on individual monasteries to the Abbot President during the course of the ordinary four-year visitation process. Abbot President Jamison told us that he expects almost all audits of monasteries to be completed by summer 2019. The first audit for each monastery will cover the period back to 2001; subsequent audits will address the more recent past and current practice.[3]

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