The Catholic Church put its reputation before the interests of child abuse survivors, with senior leaders complicit in significant failures, a public inquiry has found.
A report from the Independent Inquiry on Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA), published today, has also criticised the Vatican and its ambassador for failing to cooperate properly with the inquiry.
The report said the evidence showed “a sorry history of child sexual abuse in the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales”. It noted “too many examples of abusive priests and monks preying on children for prolonged periods of time”.
It said that across the period of nearly 50 years covered by the inquiry, “the true scale of sexual abuse of children is likely to have been much higher”.
It added that it would be “wrong to regard child sexual abuse within the Roman Catholic Church as solely a historical problem”. Since 2016, there have been more than 100 reported allegations of abuse within the church each year.