The spotlight is about to fall once more on how the Catholic Church in England and Wales has dealt with priests who have abused children. A hearing is due next week at the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse into specific cases in Birmingham, to be followed by a more general inquiry early next year. The Birmingham evidence will undoubtedly point the finger at grave institutional failings in the leadership of the late Archbishop Maurice Couve de Murville, who died in 2007. That is no longer controversial: admissions have been made, apologies offered, new safeguards introduced. The difficulty lies elsewhere, in the argument already put to the inquiry that the Catholic Church remains structurally incapable of providing a safe place for children, because of the way it works.
Bishops have the power to control schools
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