Damning Report on Clergy Abuse and Cover-up in the UK Released, SNAP Calls for Resignation of UK Cardinal
A damning report into the extent of clergy sexual abuse and cover-up in the Catholic Church was released today in the United Kingdom. Now, we call on Church leaders in the UK, starting with the Cardinal, to resign in recognition of their failures and so that a safer Church for children and the vulnerable can be created.
The final report released by the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) shows that the Catholic “playbook” to avoid abuse scandals is used around the globe, to the detriment of children and families. What was uncovered in places like Pennsylvania, Boston, Ireland, Australia, and elsewhere has now been found to be true in the UK as well: Catholic officials actively worked to protect their reputations first and children and the vulnerable second.
The numbers from this report are shocking: more than 3,000 instances of abuse between 1975 and 2015 have been reported, and more than 900 abusers have been identified. Given what we know about the nature of sexual abuse, we fear that there are more victims suffering silently. We especially worry that there are children or vulnerable adults today who are being abused by someone who is supposed to love and watch over them.
Now that this shocking report is public, we hope that it will lead to immediate change. We firmly believe that if this scandal is to be brought under control it will be because of punishments and resignations, not apologies and promises to change. Cardinal Vincent Nichols should resign his post immediately and Catholics in the UK should demand that they be led by someone who was not specifically called out by their government for refusing to take steps to prevent future cases of abuse. In this case, Cardinal Nichols has provided an example of exactly how NOT to lead and the Vatican should demand his resignation today.
CONTACT: Zach Hiner, SNAP Executive Director ([email protected], 517-974-9009)
(SNAP, the Survivors Network, has been providing support for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings for 30 years. We have more than 25,000 survivors and supporters in our network. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)