AUSTRALIAN COUNCIL FOR THE DEFENCE OF GOVERNMENT SCHOOLS
PRESS RELEASE 548#
CATHOLIC CHURCH ABUSE CLAIMS TO BE PAID FROM INTEREST ON $6.3 BILLION STATE AID
The Guardian ( Australia) and the Australian Newspaper have revealed some insight into an ongoing national scandal: the enormous wealth of the Australian Catholic Church and the complete lack of accountability for the billions of dollars of taxpayer funds with which this institution is endowed.
On Wednesday 26 March the Guardian Newspaper reported that the Business manager of the Sydney Archdiocese told the Royal Commission into Sexual Abuse that the Sydney Catholic archdiocese, a ‘voluntary not-for profit organisation’, controls funds worth more than $1.24bn and has regularly made multimillion-dollar tax-free profits.
A new report released Tuesday reveals that, over the past eight years, the Catholic Church has spent $10.6 million in the northeastern United States to fight legislation that would help victims of clergy sexual abuse seek justice.
"At the most basic level, we were inspired by frustration," says attorney Gerald Williams, a partner at Williams Cedar, one of four law firms that jointly commissioned the report. "We represent hundreds of people, who have truly been victimized by clergymen in the Catholic Church. We've heard a lot about the church's desire to be accountable and turn over a new leaf. But when we turn to the form where we can most help people and where we can get the most justice — the courts of justice — the church has been there blocking their efforts."
In New York, for example, the Catholic Church spent $2,912,772 lobbying against the Child Victims Act, which Governor Andrew Cuomo ultimately signed into law on February 14, 2019. The act gives survivors more time to seek justice against their abusers, increasing the age at which victims are able to sue from 23 to 55.