The Australian Catholic Bishops Conference and Catholic Religious Australia have today confirmed that the Church will enter the national redress scheme for survivors of child sexual abuse when that becomes possible under national legislation.
“Since as early as 2013, the Catholic Church has called for a national redress scheme for survivors of child sexual abuse,” ACBC president Archbishop Mark Coleridge said.
“We support the Royal Commission’s recommendation for a national redress scheme, administered by the Commonwealth, and we are keen to participate in it.
“Survivors deserve justice and healing and many have bravely come forward to tell their stories.”
CRA president Sr Ruth Durick OSU said: “We recognise that redress will not take away a survivor’s pain, but hope that it can provide some practical assistance in the journey towards recovery from abuse.
“We are committed to providing redress to survivors who were abused within the Catholic Church.”
Various Catholic leaders told the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse that they supported a national redress scheme to limit future trauma for survivors of abuse in obtaining redress from the Church.
Given the diverse structure of the Catholic Church, Catholic officials have been working with the Commonwealth Government to enable the Church to work effectively with the independent National Redress Scheme Operator.
“To that end, we are establishing an agency to allow dioceses and religious congregations to interact with the Scheme Operator,” Archbishop Coleridge said.