The Catholic Church of Victoria has received nearly 100 child sex abuse complaints in the past financial year as victims broke their silence in the wake of a state inquiry.
But the church says its internal complaints system remains the preferred way for many to come forward despite its response being heavily criticised during the parliamentary inquiry into abuse by religious and other organisations.
New figures released on Thursday reveal the church's two bodies set up to deal with the child abuse scandal received 53 complaints last financial year.
Only seven of those people who reported abuse with Towards Healing or the Melbourne Response then decided to call police.
Another 42 complaints were received by church bodies that appeared before the Victorian inquiry, such as church dioceses or orders.
Church spokesman Father Shane Mackinlay says all of the complaints date between the 1930s and 1990s.
"The abuse may be historical, but the long-term suffering of victims and their families continues," he said in a statement.
"It is clear that many victims still want the church to make available a non-adversarial process for providing support and compensation alongside the other processes available to victims."
He said the fact the new abuse complaints are historical shows the church's handling of the issue since the 1980s has helped prevent appalling abuse from continuing.
The church has so far upheld 43 of the 95 complaints received last financial year with the remaining complaints still being considered.