Our statement on abuse and safeguarding
As Catholics committed to the causes of social justice, we are painfully aware of the abuse crisis in our Church. Abuse is an horrific act against the most vulnerable; it must never be excused or covered up. Abuse committed against children and the consequent damage to people’s lives cannot be undone. It is also a crime, one that requires continued vigilance and strict procedures to ensure reporting to the statutory authorities.
We are members of the wider Catholic Church in England and Wales, and as such, we share in the collective failure of the church to address the abuse crisis and to provide a compassionate response to those who have experienced abuse by the church. Restitution and healing requires all of us, whether directly involved or not, to repent, and to walk alongside those suffering – as the Passionist mission has always been to do. The Catholic Church has failed in its duty of care to protect children from sexual abuse and exploitation; it has also failed to properly listen to, or support, all victims and survivors. The historical abuses that have taken place within the Church are inexcusable; so too is the prioritisation of reputation over victims.
We remain committed to the Catholic Church, and to its people; but also to the pursuit of justice and care for those who have been wronged within its spaces. The Church has reiterated its commitment to safeguarding and care for every child and vulnerable person, and will not stand for any measure of abuse nor any attempt to hide it. We take the same stance.
It is the policy of the Catholic Church in England and Wales to report all allegations of abuse to statutory authorities, regardless of whether the abuse occurred recently or in the past, or whether the accused person is living or deceased.
If you are concerned about the welfare of a child or adult at risk, do not delay in contacting the police – using 999 if a child or adult is believed to be in immediate danger.
If you are in any role within the Catholic Church in England and Wales, you must refer allegations directly to the safeguarding office for your diocese or religious congregation, or directly to the Police. In our case, you can contact our safeguarding officer Suzanne directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are a member of the public, please refer allegations directly to the police
and also to the safeguarding office in your diocese; the relevant Diocesan
safeguarding office can be located using the interactive map on the links page
of the CSAS website www.csas.uk.net