Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education



Front Page

World

UK

UK Politics

Business

Sci/Tech

Health

Education

Sport

Entertainment

Talking Point
On Air
Feedback
Low Graphics
Help

Monday, March 8, 1999 Published at 07:24 GMT


UK

Church 'ignoring rules' on abuse

Child protection procedures were set up by the Church in 1994

Catholic priests accused of child abuse are being allowed to continue working, an investigation by BBC News has found.


The BBC's Angus Stickler: "Lawyers are preparing to sue the Church for negligence"
Church officials have admitted that some bishops in the UK may be failing to follow the Church's own child protection guidelines.

Since 1994, the Catholic Church has had strict child protection procedures.


Nicholas Coote of the Catholic Bishops' Conference: "There was no question of breaking guidelines"
These state that in any case where a complaint is made against a priest, social services should be informed and the priest removed from parish duties.

An investigation for Radio 5 Live found one priest under investigation who was still working.

Another, recently suspended, was allowed to work in a primary school while under suspicion of abusing children.

He had been accused of abuse twice before.

Several complaints

Since 1996, six priests have been convicted of child abuse.

In each case, the church knew of previous allegations.


Radio Five Live: Mother of an abused child: "Priest should have been stopped"
The Church introduced the guidelines following the case of a Midlands priest jailed for sexually abusing seven children.

Numerous complaints had been made against him, but the Church failed to call in the authorities.

Nine offences

The Catholic Church in England and Wales says it it is fully committed to child protection, but said there may be individual cases where the guidelines are not being followed.

One priest, Father Michael Hill, was jailed two years ago after admitting nine counts of of indecent assault and one of gross indecency.

The mother of one of the children he abused said he should have been stopped.

She said he should have been barred from working in any parish and given help, rather than allowed to continue working as a priest.





Advanced options | Search tips




Back to top | BBC News Home | BBC Homepage |


UK Contents

Northern Ireland
Scotland
Wales
England
Internet Links


Childline UK


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.




In this section

Next steps for peace

Blairs' surprise over baby

Bowled over by Lord's

Beef row 'compromise' under fire

Hamilton 'would sell mother'

Industry misses new trains target

From Sport
Quins fightback shocks Cardiff

From Business
Vodafone takeover battle heats up

IRA ceasefire challenge rejected

Thousands celebrate Asian culture

From Sport
Christie could get two-year ban

From Entertainment
Colleagues remember Compo

Mother pleads for baby's return

Toys withdrawn in E.coli health scare

From Health
Nurses role set to expand

Israeli PM's plane in accident

More lottery cash for grassroots

Pro-lifers plan shock launch

Double killer gets life

From Health
Cold 'cure' comes one step closer

From UK Politics
Straw on trial over jury reform

Tatchell calls for rights probe into Mugabe

Ex-spy stays out in the cold

From UK Politics
Blair warns Livingstone

From Health
Smear equipment `misses cancers'

From Entertainment
Boyzone star gets in Christmas spirit

Fake bubbly warning

Murder jury hears dead girl's diary

From UK Politics
Germ warfare fiasco revealed

Blair babe triggers tabloid frenzy

Tourists shot by mistake

A new look for News Online