AN independent report into the abuse young people suffered at the hands of the Catholic Church has been published.

Ampleforth College was heavily criticised for its response to claims of sexual abuse over a number of years carried out by some of its Benedictine Monks.

The Report from the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) highlighted five individuals, mostly monks, connected to Ampleforth have been convicted or cautioned in relation to offences involving sexual activity with a large number of children, or offences concerning pornography.

A victims’ lawyer told the IICSA – which examined the prevalence of paedophilia in the English Benedictine Congregation and its failures in protecting young people – that turning a blind eye to paedophilia should be made a criminal offence so Church institutions are discouraged from hushing up scandals.

In February, a former monk at the North Yorkshire Catholic boarding school, who continued to abuse young boys after confessing to having sexual contact with a pupil, was jailed for more than 20 years.

Peter Turner, 80, sexually abused two boys after he was forced to leave Ampleforth College, and sent away to work in a parish in Workington, Cumbria.

He served another jail sentence in 2005 after he admitted offences against ten pupils at Ampleforth between 1979 and 1987.

The Northern Echo:

Among the findings in the report were that Abbot Timothy Wright, who was in charge of the college between 1997–2005 had “an immovable attitude to allegations of child sexual abuse” which hampered the proper and effective implementation of the Nolan recommendations (published in 2001).

There were examples of Ampleforth refusing to cooperate with the statutory agencies and the Church itself, the report added.

The harrowing catalogue of abuse suffered by students highlighted that many perpetrators did not hide their sexual interests in and from children throughout their reign of terror.

The President of the Bishops’ conference, Vincent Cardinal Nichols, and Vice president Archbishop Malcolm McMahon OP have said that is important that the Catholic Church learns from these previous mistakes.

They wrote: "An important aspect of the Inquiry’s work was the voice given to victims and survivors of abuse, including the accounts which they gave of their subsequent engagement with the Church.

"Listening attentively to their witness testimony has brought into sharp relief the extent of the damage this sexual abuse has had on their lives.

"We apologise to all victims and survivors who have not been properly listened to, or properly supported by us."