Chapter 1 - Introduction
1.1 Last summer, the Archbishop of Westminster
invited Lord Nolan to chair an independent committee to
carry out a review on child protection in the Catholic
Church in England and Wales. The Committee is made up
of four members who are Catholics and six who are not.
The members are:
The Rt Hon The Lord Nolan (Chairman)
The Rt Hon Sir Swinton Thomas (Vice-Chairman)
Retired Lord Justice of Appeal
Director of Public Policy, NCH
The Rev Tim Bryan
Detective Inspector, Metropolitan Police (joined
the Committee in October 2000)
Hilary Eldridge, BA(Hons), Dip SW, CQSW
Director, Lucy Faithfull Foundation
Monsignor Jack Kennedy
Child Protection Co-ordinator, Liverpool Archdiocese
Dr Maurice Lipsedge, MPhil, FRCP, FRCPsych, FFOM(Hon)
Consultant Psychiatrist, South London and the Maudsley
Chief Probation Officer of Gloucestershire and Chairman
of the Association of Chief Probation Officers
The Rt Rev Peter Smith
Bishop of East Anglia
Assistant Commissioner, Metropolitan Police
Chris Brearley, formerly Director General
in the Department of the Environment, Transport and the
Regions, is Secretary to the Review.
1.2 Our terms of reference are:
To examine and review arrangements
made for child protection and the prevention of abuse
within the Catholic Church in England and Wales, and
to make recommendations.
It is not our role to investigate or
comment on individual cases and we have not done so.
1.3 The Committee first met on 25 September
2000 and has held nine meetings so far. We have received
information about the present arrangements in dioceses
and how they are working, including a very helpful meeting
with a group of diocesan Child Protection Co-ordinators.
We sought contributions to our work from all who wished
to make one, and have received over 150 submissions from
both individuals and organisations. We are most grateful
to all those who have taken the time to contribute in
this way; many very helpful suggestions have been made.
Donald Findlater of the Lucy Faithfull Foundation has
attended a number of our meetings and contributed most
helpfully. We are also most grateful for an opportunity
Lord Nolan had to discuss child protection issues with
Bishop Laurence Forristal, Bishop of Ossory, and other
members of an advisory committee of the Irish Catholic
1.4 In approaching its task the Committee
has paid regard to what is viewed as good child protection
practice and sought, wherever possible, to apply it to
the policies and procedures of the Church. In the seven
years since the 1994 Guidelines were issued much has been
learned in the UK about how to ensure that sound principles
are translated into effective action on the ground.
1.5 This report is unanimous. It is presented
to the Archbishop of Westminster in time for consideration
by the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales
at their Low Week meeting in April 2001. This report gives
a clear indication in broad terms of the arrangements
that we believe need to be in place to enable the Church
to be an example of best practice in the prevention of
child abuse and in responding to it, and to restore confidence.
We see the recommendations as complementing and reinforcing
each other. They constitute a single programme of action.
We have not, however, yet been able to discuss the emerging
conclusions and their implementation in detail with all
those we would like to, nor to develop a number of our
recommendations more fully. We intend to do this over
the next few months and to produce our final report in
1.6 Chapter Two looks briefly at the
current situation and discusses a number of general issues.
Chapter Three looks at the action needed to create as
safe an environment as possible for children and young
people and those who work with them. Chapter Four reviews
and makes recommendations to strengthen arrangements for
responding to allegations of abuse. Chapter Five summarises
our views of the key structures needed at parish, diocesan
and national level to underpin our recommendations on
good practice. Chapter Six summarises our main conclusions
and lists all our recommendations.
1.7 Necessarily in writing about the
Catholic Church as well as about child protection we have
had to use a number of specialised terms and, so far as
possible, these are explained in Annex