Child Sexual Abuse in the Roman Catholic Church – The Independent Inquiry Child Sexual Abuse

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.

Relevant news

Inquiry announces publication date for Ealing Abbey report

News 26th Sep 2019

Inquiry investigation hearings to be held in September

News 29th Aug 2019

Inquiry publishes report on Archdiocese of Birmingham case study

News 20th Jun 2019

Inquiry updates hearing timetable and announces core participant opening date for investigation into child sexual exploitation by organised networks

News 20th Feb 2019

Next Steps:

A preliminary hearing in this investigation took place on 25 September 2019.

The full public hearing will take place from 28 October to 8 November 2019 at the Inquiry’s hearing centre at 18 Pocock Street, London SE1 0BW.

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, is being prepared and will be published on 24 October 2019.

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

Related links

Criteria for Selection of InvestigationsPolicy on the Scope of InvestigationsGlossary of TermsGuidance for potential Core ParticipantsCore Participant FAQsPreliminary Hearings FAQsA List of Core Participants in the InquiryGeneral Investigations hearing transcript, 26 July 2016Protocol on redaction of documentsRestriction Order 15 August 2016Attending a hearingHelp and support

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