Catholic Diocese of Toowoomba executive officer Dr Mark Copland.
Catholic Diocese of Toowoomba executive officer Dr Mark Copland. Bev Lacey

Catholic Diocese hopes child abuse inquiry uncovers truth

TOOWOOMBA'S Catholic Diocese says the latest revelations of cover-ups of child sexual abuse in the Catholic Church are disappointing.

Cardinal George Pell, Australia's top-ranking Catholic, has fronted a Victorian inquiry into systematic failings by religious and non-government organisations to deal with child abuse.

My hope is that the truth is told and responded to in the manner in which it has been given

Cardinal Pell told the inquiry that some members of the church tried to cover up child sexual abuse by other members of the clergy.

Catholic Diocese of Toowoomba executive officer Mark Copland believes the current inquiry in Victoria and an upcoming Royal Commission will go some way to uncovering and correcting the mistakes of the past.

"My hope is that the truth is told and responded to in the manner in which it has been given," he said.

"Ultimately my hope is that we do everything we can to support survivors and their families and ensure that we have transparent policies and procedures that will ensure it will not occur again."

At the inquiry, Cardinal Pell defended the fact that compensation payments to child abuse victims in Australia were limited at $75,000, which is quite low when compared to the US.

Cardinal Pell said the Church paid "whatever the law recommends is appropriate compensation".

But Mr Copland said he disagreed with putting a limit on compensation payments.

"My personal opinion is that you can't put a set figure on any individual's experience," he said.

"These need to be dealt with on a case-by-case basis."

The inquiry has finished and a report is due at the end of September.



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