CNA Newsroom, Oct 27, 2022 / 03:30 am
The Catholic Church in England and Wales has said it will “carefully study“ the contents of a national report concerning sexual abuse, which recommends that reporting abuse to the police should be made mandatory, even if perpetrators admit to child abuse while confessing to a priest.
The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) released its report on Oct. 20 after seven years of investigation and evidence-gathering.
The IICSA examined a number of significant organizations and institutions and concluded that “the investigation into the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales revealed a sorry history of child sexual abuse where abusive priests and members of religious orders and institutions preyed on children for prolonged periods of time.”
When outlining a way forward that might mitigate against further abuse, the report states: “Neither the freedom of religion or belief nor the rights of parents with regard to the education of their children can ever justify the ill treatment of children or prevent government authorities from taking measures necessary to protect children from harm. The Inquiry, therefore, considers that mandatory reporting as set out in this report should be an absolute obligation; it should not be subject to exceptions based on relationships of confidentiality, religious or otherwise.”