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UK Report Calls for Police Checks on Catholic Clergy to Stem Sexual Abuse of Children in Parishes

on 2001/4/18 9:47:02 ( 1376 reads )


LONDON, ENGLAND, April 17, 2001: A report commissioned last year by the Roman Catholic Church and headed by Lord Nolan, a former appeals judge, said clergy, staff and volunteers at Catholic institutions should be subject to police checks to stamp out sexual abuse of children, and that the church must also not hush up allegations of abuse. "We believe that the Catholic Church in England and Wales should become an example of best practice in the prevention of child abuse and in responding to it," Nolan said. The report said the Church should set up a national child protection unit and that every parish should have a designated child protection representative. Anyone who refuses to consent to a records check should not be appointed. Any allegation of abuse should be investigated and the police, social services agencies and the child protection officer appointed by the diocese or religious order should be informed. Between 1995 and 1999, 21 of the 5,600 Catholic priests in England and Wales were convicted of offenses against children, and two archbishops have been embroiled in controversies about their handling of pedophile priests. "Our hope is that this report will help to bring about a culture of vigilance where every single adult member of the Catholic church takes responsibility for creating a safe environment for children and young people," the report said.

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