Catholic Church joins sex abuse compensation scheme
The Catholic Church has confirmed it will be part of a national redress scheme for victims of child sexual abuse in Australia.
The nation recently held a five-year inquiry into sexual abuse in the country’s institutions.
Among harrowing stories, it heard that 7% of Australia’s Catholic priests abused children between 1950 and 2010.
Governments and institutions have faced intense pressure to join a compensation programme for victims.
“We support the royal commission’s recommendation for a national redress scheme, administered by the Commonwealth, and we are keen to participate in it,” Australian Catholic Bishops Conference president Archbishop Mark Coleridge said in a statement.
“Survivors deserve justice and healing and many have bravely come forward to tell their stories.”
The Catholic Church is the first non-government organisation to join the scheme, which will be co-ordinated by the Australian government.
The royal commission, Australia’s highest form of public inquiry, heard more than 8,000 testimonies from victims of abuse in churches, schools and sports clubs.
The level of compensation will be determined by how many governments and institutions opt in. The scheme is due to begin in July.