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British bishops order review of child-protection measures

.- The bishops of England and Wales have commissioned a review of the progress made by the local Church in the protection of children and vulnerable adults from abuse.

The Cumberlege Commission, chaired by Baroness Cumberlege, will conduct an independent review of the measures taken since the Nolan Report, published in 2001. It will also review the steps taken by the Catholic Office for the Protection of Children and Vulnerable Adults, which has been the principal mechanism for the implementation of Nolan.

In 2000, Lord Nolan headed a commission to suggest ways in which the Catholic Church in England and Wales could prevent and respond to child abuse.

“The bishops and religious orders accepted in full Nolan’s recommendations in his final report,” said Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor in a statement.

“Since then great efforts have been made, throughout the dioceses of England and Wales, the religious congregations and through the … [Catholic Office for the Protection of Children and Vulnerable Adults], to move swiftly towards the goal of ensuring that the Church becomes the safest place for children and vulnerable adults,” he continued.

The Cumberlege Commission will recommend changes in current policy and mechanisms for implementing those changes. The commission’s findings are expected to be published in the spring of 2007.

Lord Nolan’s “A Programme for Action” sets out 83 recommendations, which can be viewed on the commission’s website at http://www.cumberlegecommission.org.uk  Institutions and organizations will be invited to submit their views about the implementation of Lord Nolan’s recommendations on the website.

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