The Marist Brothers say they are reopening old settlements with child sex abuse victims to ensure they are “fair and reasonable”.
The Marist Brothers have apologised for “inaction and poor processes” in response to child sex abuse allegations, and say they are now reviewing past settlements to victims.
The Catholic order has been under scrutiny in recent months as the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse examined its handling of complaints against two pedophile brothers who abused children in NSW, Queensland and the ACT.
The order’s provincial head in Australia, Jeffrey Crowe, paid tribute on Thursday to those who had spoken out after suffering at the hands of John Chute and Gregory Sutton.
“It has been a difficult and challenging time for all involved, particularly the victims who have given evidence,” he said.
“This process has enabled us to honestly confront the crimes that have been committed, and our own failures as an institution in the past.
“We are sorry that our inaction and poor processes made the situation even worse for victims.”
Br Crowe said the Marist Brothers had already revisited several past compensation cases and agreed to new settlements.
“We are in the process of reviewing others to ensure they are fair and reasonable,” he said.
“Our priority is to ensure that we respond to each person fairly and compassionately.”
The commission is scheduled to hand its final report to government late next year.