Payments to around 60.000 victims

Payments to around 60.000 victims

Australia's Catholic Church has expressed its will to compensate abuse victims. "We support the recommendation of the Abuse Commission to establish a national compensation program".

Archbishop Mark Coleridge, president of the bishops' conference, said on Wednesday. The program is administered by the government. The church is very willing to go along with it, Colerdige added.

The president of the federation of religious orders, Sister Ruth Durick, stressed, "We are clear that compensation does not alleviate the pain of victims, but it can be a practical help on the road to recovery from abuse."

The church will join the national compensation program once the legal framework is in place, Coleridge said. Given the decentralized structure of the Catholic Church, a body will be created through which dioceses and religious orders can work with the reparations authority, he said.

Reparation payments to about 60.000 people

The creation of a national compensation fund is one of the core recommendations of the National Abuse Commission, which presented its final report in December 2017 after nearly five years of work. It is estimated that reparation payments to some 60.000 people who were victims of sexualized violence as children, the equivalent of about 2.9 billion euros is needed.

The payments should be made by those institutions by whose employees the affected people were abused. Only when an institution no longer exists or is bankrupt should the public sector step in as a funder. Among the organizations investigated were churches, orphanages, sports clubs, youth groups and schools.

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