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Safeguarding Culture in the Catholic Church of England and Wales in the Twenty-First Century: An Examination of Progress

Faisal Rashid, Ian Barron
Journal of Child Sexual Abuse 2019 March 11, : 1-22
In the wake of reported scandals of child sexual abuse by Roman catholic priests in mainstream media in the 1980s/1990s and conviction of Catholic priests on similar charges in England and Wales, Lord Nolan was invited by the Archbishop of Westminster in 2000 to undertake a review of child safeguarding policies of the Catholic Church of England and Wales since 1994, known as the Nolan Report. The Nolan Report led to the establishment of the first Catholic Office for protection of children (COPCA) which remained operative from 2001-2007 before being later modified in light of the Cumberlege Review (2007) as the National Child Safeguarding Commission (NCSC) and the Catholic Safeguarding Advisory service (CSAS) since 2008 which continue to operate till today. This article conducts a hermeneutical analysis of the Nolan Report, the Cumberlege Report, the annual reports of COPCA and the National Catholic Safeguarding Commission from 2007 till 2017. Wider academic literature on the subject is included in order to critically examine the performance of these child safeguarding structures developed to prevent and control clerical sexual abuse and to evaluate the utility of the child protection measures in place within the Catholic Church of England and Wales, since 2001.


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