Chaired by London Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Cassandra Dyke, the Independent Clergy Child Abuse investigation (ICCA) has begun work this morning. It is anticipated that it will take several years – and may not report until well into the next pontificate. Inaugurated in person by Pope Francis and comprising senior lawyers and police from four continents, the Commission has a wide remit.
‘We have been told by His Holiness that we should pursue our mission without fear or favour, from the Vatican downwards. Bishops and Cardinals can expect to be challenged about who and what they knew and how they responded,’ said Dyke.
Said the Pope’s spokesperson, Antonio Spadaro, in La Civilita Catholica : ‘The ICCA is a unique development in the long history of the Church. Never before have the secrets of the various dicasteries been laid open to inspection by lay people. Some have criticised the Holy Father for taking this bold step. He himself said, “What could I do? Anything else would be mere clericalism”.’