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Parents, taxpayers bankrolling payouts
Parents, taxpayers bankrolling payouts

EXCLUSIVE: If you thought the Catholic Church has been literally paying dearly for the sins of its clergy, you'd be mistaken.

A new scandal is brewing for the Catholic Church with claims victims of sexual abuse are being paid with funds provided by school fees.

Seven News can reveal parents, and taxpayers, are bankrolling the church's own insurance company which pays out victims' compensation.

The victims' support group Broken Rites says parents of Catholic school children, and taxpayers, are effectively bankrolling massive compensation pay-outs for sexual abuse.

"The Catholic Church has paid mega-millions to the victims. It doesn't like doing this, it tries to evade it when it can," Bernard Barrett from Broken Rites said.

He said the church minimises the financial impact of abuse, as parents pay fees to schools, which in turn pay premiums to Catholic Church Insurance Limited.

CCIL writes cheques for the church's Towards Healing negotiators, convincing victims to accept compensation without embarrassing the church by going to court.

"The insurance company's role is to protect the reputation of the Catholic Church," Bernard Barrett said.

Former Toward Healing negotiator Brother Alexis Turton confirmed in a statement that ‘any professional body would be irresponsible if they didn't have insurance, and of course you don't have insurance without paying for it.’

But it's Catholic families and the Federal government picking up the bill, according to Bernard Barrett.

Seven News wanted to know how many parents were aware they were effectively insuring against the risk to their own children, but the Sydney Arch Diocese has failed to answer any of our questions.

Broken Rites wants the Royal Commission into child abuse, to also investigate Catholic Church finances.