National Board for the Safeguarding of Children in the Catholic Church Reports a Year of Progress in its Activities
Notes 197 New Allegations of Abuse
Monday 17th May 2010
The National Board for the Safeguarding of Children in the Catholic Church (NBSCCC) published its second annual report today. It details the work done by the Board and its National Office in the year through 31 March 2010. The range of their activities underpins two clear conclusions noted by Ian Elliott, CEO, “That children should be safer within the Church than they once were” and “those that seek to harm children should feel much less secure.” At parish level throughout Ireland child safeguarding is now supported by 2,356 known volunteers who have undergone appropriate training.
It notes that 197 new allegations of abuse were reported to it, and the authorities, between April 1st 2009 and the end of March 2010.
“In relation to the new allegations we have specifically stated that these are of abuse, rather than sexual abuse,” explained Ian Elliott. All of them are historical in nature, involving adults talking about experiences they had as children. None originated from children or young people. Some went back over 50 years. However, they are all allegations that have not been reported before.
The report explains that of these allegations 87 related to the Dioceses and the remaining 110 came from the Religious Congregations/Orders and the Missionary Societies. All were reported to the statutory authorities in whatever jurisdiction the alleged offences occurred. 83 of the alleged perpetrators are deceased. This leaves a total of 114 allegations that relate to individuals who are alive today. Of these a further 35 have already been laicised or dismissed from their Congregation or Order. A number were allegations relating to individuals against whom previous allegations had already been made.
As the remit of the NBSCCC includes providing support and training in implementing the safeguarding guidelines to which every constituent part of the Church has already given their endorsement, the report details the Board’s work in these areas. It also points out that the Board has provided training to 58 groups on various aspects of the safeguarding guidelines and, importantly, schedules in some detail, new policies being developed at national level to further ensure the quality and extent of child safeguarding for the Catholic Church.
Looking at the its plans for the future the Board states that one of its priorities for 2010 will be a review of safeguarding practice across all dioceses and congregations, starting with the dioceses. This review has now commenced. It plans to complete the reviews of dioceses in a year’s time.