An inquiry report has revealed that the Catholic Church has paid almost $276 million as compensation to victims. The abused children used the amount for their treatment and other requirements. The church, however, admitted the scheme is an unfair means.

The Royal Commission’s inquiry into institutional abuse released a report on Thursday that put the Catholic Church compensation scheme into the limelight. The royal commission’s prosecuting barrister, Gail Furness, confirmed that the report unveils the time gap between the alleged abuse and claim made by the victims against the church. The difference between the two events has been recorded as 33 years, Furness stated. “The Royal Commission’s experience is that many survivors face barriers which deter them from reporting abuse to authorities and to the institution in which the abuse occurred,” Furness said.

The difference between the two events has been recorded as 33 years, Furness stated. “The Royal Commission’s experience is that many survivors face barriers which deter them from reporting abuse to authorities and to the institution in which the abuse occurred,” Furness said.

According to the report, the victims who sought redress from the institution were offered an average amount of $91,000 as compensation. The variation in the range of amount paid to victims was recorded as $22,000 to $901,000. The Catholic Church, however, has called paying compensation as unfair and asked for a more independent scheme.

The Catholic Church Truth Justice and Healing Council chief executive Francis Sullivan said that an independent national redress system was required. This will make sure there is no unfair scheme for victims including the compensation scheme.  “Even though the church has paid $270 million and it took a long time to get its act together to do that, there’s no doubt the system of paying people and compensating them is best done independently of the church through a national redress scheme,” Sullivan told AAP.

Catholic Church Authorities Named on the List of Compensation Payments

Among the Catholic Church institutions across Australia, the one that has paid the highest number of payments was the Christian Brothers. It made 763 payments worth $48.5 million. On the other hand, there have been authorities that made a minimum of 10 compensation payments.

Among them, Jesuits paid the highest average amount worth $257,000. One of the authorities paid only nine payments but the amount has been quite high. The Daughters of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart paid an average of $901,000.

The report revealed that around 2854 victims of Catholic Church sex abuse who were paid monetary compensation. On the other hand, almost 4445 victims have made claims to the church between 1980 and 2015. Furness believed that the cases of child sex abuse are likely to be much more than the number of claims made by the victims. “The royal commission’s experience is that many survivors face barriers which deter them from reporting abuse to authorities and to the institution in which the abuse occurred,” she said.

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