Yesterday’s decision by the Catholic Church to leave it up to individual parts of the organisation to decide when to sign up to the National Redress Scheme is a cruel broken promise.
Just over five months ago, the Catholic Church made a clear commitment to survivors of institutional child sexual abuse:
“We are going to form a very simple – and we hope cost-effective – company that will enable the Catholic Church to respond as a single entity to the Redress Scheme.”
[Archbishop Mark Coleridge, President of The Australian Bishops Conference, PM, 30 May 2018]
The Catholic Church has a complex structure – and this decision will leave thousands of survivors waiting longer for justice.
People who were sexually abused as children now have no idea when the segment of the Catholic Church which is legally responsible will join the scheme.
Some people could be forced to wait for years, and others may die waiting.
This is utterly unacceptable.
Survivors have already waited too long for justice.
All institutions that have not already joined the Redress Scheme should do so immediately - they have a clear moral obligation not to delay.