Cardinal Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster and president of the Bishops' Conference of England & Wales today welcomed the annual report of the work of safeguarding in the Catholic Church in England & Wales. This report has been published every year since 2002.
He also thanked all those who work in safeguarding across the church, both professionals and volunteers. "The challenge of our response to sexual abuse within the Church continues to be urgent and of vital importance," he said.
Read the full statement here:
"Every year since 2002, an Annual Report of the work of Safeguarding in the Catholic Church in England and Wales has been published by NCSC or its predecessor. A glance at those Reports tells a story of progress made, difficulties encountered, effort expended and challenges that lie ahead.
"Today I thank the NCSC for this 2018 Annual Report, which gives a clear picture of the work done in Safeguarding in the Catholic Church today. The clarity and detail contained in the Report is testimony to the hard work of many, many people, across our parishes and dioceses, mostly dedicated and trained volunteers. This is a story that needs to be heard.
"At the same time the Report is totally without any sense of complacency. The challenge of our response to the presence of sexual abuse within the Church continues to be urgent and of vital importance: heeding the voice and experience of survivors and responding to them; responding promptly to the surfacing of allegations; cooperating fully with public authorities; strengthening programmes of education and awareness raising. The Report covers these and other aspects of this part of our mission and points to the challenges that lie ahead and will require our determined response.
"For this reason, I also welcome the steps that the NCSC has taken in establishing an independent review of the work and structure of this work.
"Again, I thank all who work hard to ensure that the Church is, today, characterised by culture of safeguarding. In particular, I thank Mr Christopher Pearson for his leadership of the National Catholic Safeguarding Commission."
Cardinal Vincent Nichols
President, Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales
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