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IICSA Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse

The Roman Catholic Church Investigation Report


G.1: Introduction

1. In 2006 and 2007, the Catholic Office for the Protection of Children and Vulnerable Adults (COPCA) introduced self-auditing of the child protection commissions. The audits included straightforward questions such as “Are you aware there are safeguarding policies and where they are kept?”[1] The COPCA annual reports for 2006 and 2007 recognise that these self-audits were limited in their scope.[2] Mrs Eileen Shearer (COPCA’s director) told us that the self-audits were introduced “in full recognition that this was a first step and could not be a rigorous independent process”.[3] She said a lack of resources and the “climate of resistance within the Church to any external scrutiny of the workings of Dioceses and Congregations militated against a full external audit process”.[4]


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