THE Brisbane archdiocese is awaiting its acceptance into the National Redress Scheme after completing its application to the Federal Government.
Archbishop Mark Coleridge said Brisbane was among more than 30 archdioceses, dioceses and eparchies to have submitted all paperwork to the Department of Social Services to begin participation in the scheme.
The Government will give final approval to all institutions that wish to formally enter the redress scheme.
Some media outlets have criticised the Catholic Church for changing its plan to enter the scheme as one unit.
“Our commitment to join the redress scheme has been unequivocal from the outset. It is now on the verge of completion,” Archbishop Coleridge said.
“The staggered entry of the states, which have passed legislation at different times, has meant that the Church has changed our approach so that dioceses could enter when ready rather than waiting for all states to agree on joining.
“The overwhelming majority of Catholic bodies have now completed all paperwork and we are ready to begin formal participation in the scheme.”
Archbishop Coleridge, who is also president of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, said Australian Catholic Redress Ltd had assisted more than 5000 parishes, schools and other entities that had operated under the banner of Catholic dioceses dating back 70 years.
“Like survivors, the conference had hoped that dioceses would have been processing applications by now but there has been no undue delay – simply a desire to make sure that the entry was handled correctly,” Archbishop Coleridge said.
“The entry process has been more complex than we had expected.
“It is not realistic to compare the Catholic Church to some other institutions that are far smaller and do not have the same legal complexities to settle before joining.