Archbishop Vincent Nichols, President of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales has issued the following message today, in response to Pope Benedict's letter to Catholics in Ireland.
I welcome the strong leadership of the Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI in issuing this letter.
From our experience in England and Wales, we have learnt that the most important thing is to recognise and take to heart the profound damage done to children who have been abused. Putting the safeguarding of children and all vulnerable people at the centre of the Church's efforts is essential.
Robust procedures are necessary to ensure all allegations are dealt with swiftly and appropriately in full co-operation with the relevant authorities. These procedures need also to be just if they are to make a lasting difference and ensure the support of all.
The work undertaken in England and Wales to build a robust system to safeguard children and all vulnerable people has been difficult and demanding, but it is a road that has to be travelled.