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Church in NZ offers $A3.67m abuse payout

56 men allegedly abused as boys at a Christchurch Catholic residential school are being offered compensation payments totalling $A3.67 million.

The St John of God Order hopes the payments - the largest ever offered by a religious order in New Zealand - will bring a "sad and sorry situation to closure".

The Australasian head of the Order, B Peter Burke, said that he had written to 56 of more than 70 complainants offering them compensation for the sexual abuse they allegedly suffered at Marylands, a Christchurch school for boys with intellectual and learning disabilities run by the Order until 1984.

The payment offer was made after the 56 participated in a lengthy "pastoral process" overseen by retired High Court judge Sir Rodney Gallen.

In personalised letters outlining the compensation payments, Br Burke said deciding how much to offer each individual complainant was, without doubt, the hardest decision of his life.


Catholics offer $4m to abuse claimants (NZ Herald)
Brothers make one-off payment to NZ abuse victims (4/12/02)
Catholic order pays 70 who claim abuse (NZ Herald)
Brother suspended over sex claims (5/7/02)
St John of God Brothers to pay out $3.6 million (13/6/02)
Hospitaller Order of St John of God (Australia)

Fresh allegations aimed at [British] cardinal (The Universe)
Catholic Group Picks Academic Team to Study Problem of Sexual Abuse (New York Times)

17 Mar 2003