Birmingham Archdiocese let children be abused and harboured paedophile priests ‘to protect its own reputation’

The Independent

June 21, 2019

By Chris Baynes

Birmingham’s Catholic church protected paedophile priests and allowed child sex abuse to continue in order to preserve its own reputation, a damning inquiry has found.

The Archdiocese of Birmingham “repeatedly failed” to alert police to allegations against its clergy and in doing so let perpetrators carry on abusing victims for years, the report concluded.

The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) examined more than 130 allegations of abuse against 78 people associated with the archdiocese since the 1930s. But it said the true scale of offending was likely to be far higher.

Thirteen abusers have been convicted and three other individuals received cautions over offences involving 53 children. Many other victims have since died, meaning their allegations cannot not be fully investigated.

Professor Alexis Jay, who is chairing the inquiry, said: “I am truly shocked by the scale of child sexual abuse within the Archdiocese of Birmingham. The number of perpetrators and abused children is likely to be far higher than the figures suggest.

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