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 Response of the Catholic Bishops of England and Wales to the Final Nolan Report

Bishops: "We now commit ourselves to implementing the Final report"
(15 November 2001, 1200hrs)

Below is the final resolution of the meeting of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales following their meetings in Leeds between 12 and 15 November 2001. This was the first occasion after the publication of the Final Report that the bishops were able to meet and discuss the report. The final resolution reads as follows:

RESOLUTION

THE FINAL NOLAN REPORT

The Bishops' Conference agrees to the publication of the following statement:

  1. We wish to express our gratitude and deep appreciation to Lord Nolan, to the members of the independent committee he chaired, and to all those who contributed in any way to the work of the review on Child Protection in the Catholic Church in England and Wales.
  2. At our last meeting in April 2001 we discussed the Review's First Report with Lord Nolan and members of his committee. We unanimously resolved to establish the framework of arrangements that report recommended, and appointed an implementation team to take forward those recommendations that required action at national level. Since then, plans have gone ahead for the establishment of the national child protection unit. This unit will have offices in Birmingham, under a management board to be chaired by the Archbishop of Birmingham. The selection process for the Director of this new unit is underway and an appointment is due to be made next month.
  3. We now commit ourselves to implementing the Final report, published on 17 September 2001. Its recommendations build on and develop the arrangements which dioceses have put in place in recent years, following the publication of our pastoral and procedural guidelines in 1994. They complement and reinforce one another and constitute a single programme of action. A number of the recommendations in this Final Report, such as those relating to the establishment of the National Child Protection Unit, can be and are being implemented now. Once the National Unit is up and running, it will issue guidance on best practice which will enable a number of the more detailed recommendations at diocesan and parish level to be implemented consistently throughout the country.
  4. We have been encouraged by the determination that many religious congregations present in England and Wales have already shown in their positive response to the publication of the Nolan Report. It is vital that the Report's recommendations are implemented fully and quickly by all religious congregations as well as by all dioceses. Acting together with the religious congregations we aim, as soon as possible, to put in place a single set of policies, principles and practices across the church.

ENDS



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