National abuse unit for British Church
The Catholic Church in England and Wales is setting up a national child protection unit in response to sex abuse scandals involving priests and young boys.
The unit will be based in Birmingham and will implement the 83 recommendations made by Lord Nolan in his report, "A Programme For Action" aimed at tackling paedophile activity.
The Archbishop of Birmingham, the Most Reverend Vincent Nichols is to chair the new organisation which was approved at the Catholic Bishops Conference in London.
The Archbishop said he welcomed the creation of the unit.
"I am very pleased at the response of the bishops coming together in conference to the final report given to us by Lord Nolan," he said. "I am sure the implication of his recommendations will strengthen the life of the Church and its role in society."
Measures outlined in Lord Nolan's report included not only the creation of a national child protection unit to promote good practice, but also the formation of a database to vet candidates for the priesthood. It also said every Catholic parish should appoint a child protection representative with a child protection co-ordinator for all dioceses, religious orders and seminaries.
The report included measures to ensure that both children and priests are visible during confession.
A Program for Action (Nolan Review)