Cardinal Vincent Nichols has apologised for the “hurt caused” to young unmarried mothers pressured by Church agencies in the mid-20th century to surrender their children for adoption.
Cardinal Nichols expressed regret for the actions of the Church in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s when about 500,000 British women were encouraged to give up their babies for adoption.
“The practices of all adoption agencies reflected the social values at that time and were sometimes lacking in care and sensitivity,” Cardinal Nichols said. “We apologise for the hurt caused by agencies acting in the name of the Catholic Church.”
The statement from Cardinal Nichols comes at the conclusion of an ITV documentary, scheduled to be broadcast in the UK on 9th November.
The film, Britain’s Adoption Scandal: Breaking The Silence, examines the experiences of women who were urged to give up their babies because they were unmarried.
According to ITV, some women were told that if they truly loved their children, they should hand them to the care of married couples.