Cardinal George Pell has told the parents of two child sex abuse victims that the Church will review its compensation payments, even if it costs hundreds of millions of dollars, reports the ABC.
Anthony and Chrissie Foster met Cardinal Pell after his appearance at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in Sydney on Thursday. They went into the meeting asking for major changes to the Melbourne Response compensation scheme for abuse victims, and Cardinal Pell agreed.
'I'm still sort of in shock about it, this is a complete turnabout,' Ms Foster told the ABC's Lateline program.
The discussions have been confirmed by Francis Sullivan - CEO of the Church's Truth, Justice and Healing Council - who was at the meeting.
The Fosters' two daughters were repeatedly raped in primary school by their parish priest, Fr Kevin O'Donnell. Emma Foster later committed suicide and her sister, Katie, took to binge drinking and was left disabled after being hit by a car.
'This is what we have wanted over the last 18 years. We have been asking to remove the cap and to reassess all those victims who have settled for pittances,' said Ms Foster.
They say Cardnal Pell has told them he is personally committed to changing the way abuse victims are compensated. 'I stated that we needed to see the Melbourne cap eliminated, revisiting all the existing claims and in line with civil limits,' Mr Foster said.
'I also said to him that this will cost the Catholic Church in Melbourne several hundred million dollars. His response was he nodded and said "yes".'
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