Greens seek law change for Church abuse victims
Updated May 28, 2012 17:05:10
The New South Wales Greens will introduce a private member’s bill that would let victims of sex abuse by Catholic clergy sue the property trust that holds much of the church’s wealth.
The trusts hold billions of dollars worth of the Church’s assets, but in 2007 a court ruled they could not be held financially responsible for the actions of clergy.
Greens MP David Shoebridge says that has allowed the Catholic Church to hide behind a legal technicality, and he wants the law changed.
“In NSW, the Catholic Church does not exist as a separate legal entity,” he said.
“It’s an unincorporated association. The priest who commits the offence is often dead or penniless by the time the case is brought to court.
“What this bill does is it places the property trusts in the position of the Catholic Church as a defendant.
“To date, victims have not had that right to have their damages paid from a defendant with pockets that will be able to satisfy the debt.” (ABC news)