Church’s new path for abuse incidents
THE Catholic Church will dump its controversial Melbourne Response scheme for dealing with complaints of sexual abuse.
Introduced in 1996 by then Melbourne archbishop George Pell, the Melbourne Response was one of the church’s first schemes to offer redress to victims of paedophile priests.
But it was subsequently slammed by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, which found the compensation model’s independent commissioner deterred victims from taking complaints to police.
The scheme will be replaced by Pathways Victoria, which is still in development.
The Catholic Dioceses of Victoria on Tuesday opened a public consultation period for the new process.
“It is important that voices of those who have experienced abuse are heard, and that their feedback helps to shape this new model,” a Pathways Victoria spokesman said.
“The proposed model will provide an operationally independent structure for implementing the Catholic Church’s National Response Protocol released this year, and will provide a person-centred and trauma-informed response.”
The new model will investigate complaints and respond to survivors as an alternative to existing options, such as the National Redress Scheme and civil litigation. “It offers a pathway where survivors are listened to, acknowledged, compensated and given care,” the spokesman said.
For information on how to participate in the consultation phase visit www.pathwaysvictoria.com.