A supplied image obtained Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2016 of (LtoR)  Justice Peter McClellan, Justice Jennifer Coate on the final public hearing into the SCOUTS at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse (Case Study 48) in Sydney.  (AAP Image/Royal Commission) NO ARCHIVING, EDITORIAL USE ONLY
A supplied image obtained Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2016 of (LtoR) Justice Peter McClellan, Justice Jennifer Coate on the final public hearing into the SCOUTS at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse (Case Study 48) in Sydney. (AAP Image/Royal Commission) NO ARCHIVING, EDITORIAL USE ONLY ROYAL COMMISSION

MY SAY: We shouldn't pay for Church's sins

THE figures released by the Royal Commission into Institutionalised Responses to Child Sexual Abuse are shocking, there's no other way to describe them.

Average ages of the victims were 10.5 for girls and 11.6 for boys.

Truly horrific.

In only 35 years, from 1980 to 2015, almost 4500 people alleged they were abused as children in more than 1000 Catholic institutions.

How were these despicable acts covered up for so long?

Who knows, but one thing is clear, conservatives fearing a rise of Islam already overlooked what can only be classed as religious terrorism that is thriving within our communities.

Victims took on average 33 years to come forward and reveal the horrors they suffered.

This means we'll be dealing with this problem for decades to come. That's without taking into account fresh abuse taking place.

What is more concerning is the Vatican's refusal to release documents to aide the Royal Commission into its investigations of a former Wollongong priest, arguing it was neither possible, nor appropriate, to release the information requested.

Wow.

What a way to show the world you're willing to reform.

While the likes of Cardinal George Pell hide in the warm embrace of the Church, victims continue to fight for recognition and recompense.

And for mine, the most bitter of all pills is that we, the taxpayer, will be the ones that pay for the compensation for victims.

In November last year the Federal Government announced its compensation scheme for victims, who will be able to access up to $150,000 each, although there is some discussion about that figure possibly rising to $200,000.

While I'm in no way debating whether these victims deserve every cent of their compensation, what I am struggling to understand is why the Commonwealth Government will take the lead, with states, territories and institutions, including churches, able to opt-in.

Are you kidding?

So the organisation responsible for the destruction of thousands of lives, who covered up what was an epidemic of paedophilia, can choose whether it wants to compensate its victims?

On what planet is that acceptable?

The Sydney Morning Herald, in March last year, estimated the Catholic Church's tax exemptions at somewhere in the order of $16 billion annually in Australia.

And now we're told the Federal Government will take the lead on stumping up nearly $800 million over a decade as compensation for the atrocities of the Church.

I'm sorry, but this is not okay. The Catholic Church should pay every cent of the compensation.

Why should we bear the costs of its sins?



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