Council to assist Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse

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The Catholic Church in England and Wales has welcomed the independent inquiry into child sexual abuse and has set up a council to assist the inquiry in its deliberations.


Baroness Nuala O’Loan will chair this council, which has representatives from both the Bishops’ Conference and the Conference of Religious.

What will it do?

This Council will support the numerous organisations that make up the Catholic Church in England and Wales and will speak with and for the Church. It will ensure that the evidence required by the Inquiry is collated appropriately.

Baroness O’Loan said:

“The role of the council is to facilitate and ensure the proper response to the Enquiry, which has the Church’s full support. We look forward to hearing their specific requests and will ensure full co-operation with their deliberations.”

The Church is committed to the safeguarding of all children and vulnerable adults and following two independent inquiries both Dioceses and Religious Orders are committed to following nationally agreed guidelines and robust policies to promote safeguarding. All allegations of abuse are immediately reported to the police and the Church co-operates fully with any subsequent investigation by the statutory authorities.

Full Membership

The Catholic Church’s Goddard Inquiry Council:

Baroness Nuala O’Loan

Bishop Marcus Stock
Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales

Fr Chris Thomas
Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales

Ms Valerie Black
Conference of Religious General Secretary

Fr Stephen Wright
Archdiocese of Birmingham

Dom Christopher Jamison OSB
Abbot President of the English Benedictine Congregation

Sister Lyndsay Spendalow
Conference of Religious

Colette Limbrick
Catholic Safeguarding Advisory Service

Dr Helen Costigan
Canon lawyer

Msgr Gordon Reed
Canon lawyer


Fr Christopher Thomas
General Secretary, CBCEW