Statement on Goddard Inquiry
Independent Inquiry into the Sexual Abuse of Children
Statement by the English Benedictine Congregation
On 27 November 2015, the Government-appointed Chair of the Independent Inquiry into the Sexual Abuse of Children announced the start of twelve investigations, including the investigation into the Roman Catholic Church. The Inquiry has identified specific case studies to examine, the first being the English Benedictine Congregation.
Earlier this year, the Inquiry asked the English Benedictine Congregation to submit documentation, and the Congregation has complied with this.
On 27 May, the Inquiry announced that Core Participant status should be applied for by 24 June, and the Congregation has made an application. It also announced that there would be a preliminary hearing on 28 July. The Congregation has appointed legal advisers who will appear on its behalf at this hearing.
The Catholic Church in England and Wales has welcomed the setting up of this inquiry and is committed to the safeguarding of children and vulnerable adults. It has set up a Council, chaired by Baroness O’Loan, to assist the Inquiry, and to support the organisations which make up the Catholic Church in England and Wales and ensure that the evidence required by the Inquiry is collated appropriately.
The monasteries of the English Benedictine Congregation located in England and Wales are equally committed to proper safeguarding, and are already co-operating with the Council.
Abbot Richard Yeo, Abbot President of the English Benedictine Congregation, said: “We welcome the inquiry and we look forward to co-operating with it. Our monasteries are committed to good safeguarding and are co-operating with Baroness O’Loan and the Council which she chairs. Good safeguarding is essential if we are to fulfil our mission of spreading the Gospel. We share and support the goal of the Inquiry: to ensure that children are given the care and protection they need.”
“We understand that the preliminary hearings are formal in character, but they are a necessary prelude to the main public hearings”
The Independent Inquiry into the Sexual Abuse of Children is an independent statutory inquiry and covers England and Wales. Being independent means the Inquiry is not part of government and not run by a government department.
For more information and to contact the Inquiry, go to www.iicsa.org.uk or call the Inquiry Helpline 0800 917 1000.