Cardinal welcomes the Cumberlege Commission’s review on safeguarding

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Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor has welcomed the publication of the Cumberlege Commission’s review of the progress made by the Catholic Church in the protection of children and vulnerable adults.

The Cardinal, president of the Bishops’ Conference for England and Wales, last year asked Baroness Cumberlege to chair an independent review commission, consisting of outstanding professionals from the statutory and voluntary sectors as well as representatives from the Catholic Church.

The commission considered the effectiveness of the measures taken since the Nolan Report; it asked whether we have achieved our goal of becoming an example of good practice in the prevention of and response to child abuse; and it also examined the remit and effectiveness of the Catholic Office for the Protection of Children and Vulnerable Adults (COPCA) which has been the principal mechanism for the implementation of the Nolan report’s recommendations. Lord Nolan published his report in 2001 and suggested that his recommendations be reviewed after five years.

Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor said:

“I would like to take this opportunity, on behalf of the Catholic Church in England & Wales, to thank Baroness Cumberlege and all those on the commission for their patience and diligence over the past year. Their hard work will help the Church as it continues to move towards the goal of ensuring that the Church follows good practice in the safeguarding of children and vulnerable adults.

“The Cumberlege Commission’s review has been thorough, painstaking and independent. It has pointed out those areas where the Church has made significant progress. Where it has found that progress has been inadequate or improvements could be made, it has recommended changes in current policy and mechanisms for implementing those changes.

“It is important for all those within the Church to study the Commission’s findings very carefully and discern how the recommendations can be incorporated into our diocesan and parish structures. Later this year, we will make a more formal response to the Commission’s findings once the best way forward has been discerned.”