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Australia’s Catholic Church formally announces it will join redress scheme for child sex abuse survivors

Australia’s Catholic Church has confirmed it will enter the national redress scheme for survivors of child sexual abuse once laws enabling it are passed by the Senate.

The Australian Catholic Bishops Conference and Catholic Religious Australia confirmed on Wednesday that the church will be entering the scheme which was a key recommendation of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. 

Archbishop Mark Coleridge, president of the ACBC, said the church has called for a national redress scheme since as early as 2013.

“We support the Royal Commission’s recommendation for a national redress scheme, administered by the Commonwealth, and we are keen to participate in it,” he said. “Survivors deserve justice and healing and many have bravely come forward to tell their stories.” 

The church is reportedly the first non-government institution to formally announce it will join the scheme.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull welcomed the news as a “significant development”.

Almost 2,500 of the survivors who gave evidence to the Royal Commission spoke about sexual abuse in an institution managed by the Catholic Church. According to the Royal Commission’s final report, 61.8 per cent of all survivors of sexual abuse in a religious institution were from a Catholic-managed institution.



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