Redress scheme to be adopted quickly with a staggered start
A statement released by the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference on Friday said Catholic archdioceses, dioceses and eparchies will enter the scheme as quickly as possible.
“Almost all dioceses have completed their paperwork and Australian Catholic Redress Ltd is working closely with the Department of Social Services to facilitate formal entry into the Scheme for those dioceses,” the ACBC said.
“The staggered entry of states has necessitated the change in plan. The decision to have a staggered entry of Catholic institutions into the National Redress Scheme was made to allow institutions to enter the scheme sooner than would have happened if the Church had waited for a single, mass entry.”
ABC News reports that while the Anglican Church partly signed on to the agreement on Friday, the Catholic and Uniting churches had yet to formally enter.
In recent weeks, the federal Government has been speaking directly to church leaders to urge them to come on board.
“They’ve made a public commitment that they will join so my expectation … the government’s expectation is that they turn words into action,” Social Services Minister Paul Fletcher told the ABC.
The ACBC said it had had hoped that dioceses would have been processing applications by now, but “there has been no undue delay – simply a desire to make sure the entry was handled correctly the first time”.
Source: ACBC Media Blog.