20 July 2022

Barnardo's Review Published

An independent review by children’s charity Barnardo’s into the actions of the Archdiocese of Birmingham in relation to the management of concerns about Joseph Quigley, a priest in the Archdiocese, has been published today. 

Go to:

Press release

An independent review by children’s charity Barnardo’s into the actions of the Archdiocese of Birmingham in relation to the management of concerns about Joseph Quigley, a priest in the Archdiocese, has now been published.

The review relates to a specific case involving Quigley who was convicted of child sex offences and sentenced, in January 2021, to 11 years and 6 months’ imprisonment.

The Archdiocese of Birmingham is deeply sorry for what those who have been abused, and their families, have suffered at the hands of Quigley. Abuse has no place in society, least of all in the life of the Church.

The Trustees of the Archdiocese of Birmingham commissioned Barnardo’s to undertake an independent, transparent review into what had gone wrong.

The Barnardo’s review highlights a number of failures by the Archdiocese in procedures, communications, managerial scrutiny and oversight. We accept these failures.

The review, which has been shared with those most impacted by Joseph Quigley’s actions, shows that failures by the Archdiocese, which took place over a period of time, were institutional.

The Archdiocese has learnt much from this case and the report and we are committed to improving our standards and processes. We have restructured our safeguarding team and strengthened management oversight and accountability, ensuring we listen and act on all concerns.

The review details the improvements that have been made in the safeguarding arrangements, procedures, scrutiny and oversight in the Archdiocese. We adhere to the national Catholic Church policy as laid out by the Catholic Safeguarding Standards Agency (CSSA).

All allegations of abuse, no matter how small, are reported to the police immediately and that reporting is clearly evidenced for transparency and managerial scrutiny. The Archdiocese’s response to the Barnardo’s report and its recommendations can be found on page 88 of the report.

Engagement with a group of survivors of abuse within the Archdiocese is currently taking place to help us better learn how to respond to victims and survivors of abuse and to ensure that their perspective will help inform the wider Diocesan response to safeguarding.

Archbishop Bernard Longley said:

“I am deeply sorry for what happened to those who have been harmed by Joseph Quigley.

“I welcome the report and the reflection that will come from this. All the reflections and responses that we receive allow me and the Catholic Church to better understand our failings and where we need to continue to learn. One reason I welcome the report is that it enables me and everyone else to hear the voices of those who have suffered - the victims’ voices are heard clearly here.

“Looking at the review, it’s clear that those things would not have happened in this way today. Going to the police and the statutory authorities is a natural and regular part of how we respond to safeguarding issues that are brought to us.

“Our professional safeguarding team has expanded and has overseen considerable changes in how we do things today and how we are held responsible. One of the impacts of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) has been continuous improvement in that area. The Inquiry made recommendations for our Archdiocese which have been implemented, and we make sure that the Charity Commission and the Inquiry know that.

“There is work that still needs to be carried forward and that’s something which lies upon my shoulders, together with those who support me and the Trustees. I think it is for me to answer, and to be answerable to, those who have suffered. I can only apologise to them on behalf of the Archdiocese of Birmingham, and I do so unreservedly.

“I hope there will be an opportunity to meet again with those victim-survivors who have been affected by these offences. I hope it is something they will be open to. I want to listen to them, to apologise to them again and to ask for their forgiveness.

“I’m extremely grateful for all I’ve seen and heard and learned from all victims-survivors who have had the courage and the generosity to come forward and speak with me and others in recent years.

“This review does make for difficult reading and I encourage anyone affected by it to reach out for help.”

This case highlights even more the importance of survivors reaching out, and we strongly encourage all who have suffered or may be suffering abuse to report the matter to the police on 101 and, if appropriate, the Diocesan Safeguarding Team on 0121 230 6240 or via email [email protected]

Nationally, Safe Spaces (Safe Spaces England and wales – Safe Spaces England and Wales) is also available to provide a confidential service to survivors of abuse within the Church.

Further information, including advice on how to access support, can be found on our website: Safeguarding | Birmingham Diocesan Trust 

Interview with Archbishop Bernard Longley

Interview by Trevor Barnes, freelance journalist.

Barnardo's Review

An independent review undertaken by Barnardo’s on behalf of the Archdiocese of Birmingham in relation to the management of concerns about Q, a priest in the Archdiocese.

Read Full Review