Statement from the Catholic Council for the Independent Inquiry
into Child Sexual Abuse on the Final Report of the Inquiry
Today, the Panel of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse has published
its final report after seven years of work. The Catholic Council welcomes this report,
thanks the Inquiry for its work and will carefully study its contents and recommendations.
In the work of safeguarding all who are members of, or come into contact with, the
Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales, at no point will the Church stop on
its journey of dedicated effort in making the life and work of the Church safe for all.
Before the publication of the case study report into the Roman Catholic Church in
November 2020, the Church commissioned an independent review into its
safeguarding work and structures which is in the process of being implemented. The
new national safeguarding body, the Catholic Safeguarding Standards Agency
(CSSA), which began operational work in April 2021, provides a regulatory function
to organisations within the Church in England and Wales ensuring that standards
are upheld, and all safeguarding processes adhered to. These changes were fully
aligned with the Inquiry’s recommendations in the case study report.
Key to this progress is the voice of victims and survivors of abuse which has been an
integral element in the development of this new agency. The Church remains
committed to listening with humility to those who have been hurt by the actions of
Church members so that their experiences will inform our work.
It is important for us to again offer an unreserved apology to all those who have been
hurt by abuse in the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales and to reaffirm
our commitment to the continued refinement and improvement of our safeguarding
work to protect all children and the vulnerable.
Information regarding the Catholic Council:
The Catholic Council for the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse was created in
2015, at the commencement of the Inquiry’s work. It has assisted IICSA under its Chair,
Baroness Nuala O’Loan, and has representatives from both the Bishops’ Conference
and the Conference of Religious. It has supported the numerous organisations that
make up the Catholic Church in England and Wales in their engagement with IICSA
and ensured that the evidence required by the Inquiry was collated appropriately.
Safeguarding section on the Bishops’ Conference website.
Official website of the Catholic Safeguarding Standards Agency (CSSA).
The Final Report can be found on the IICSA website.