A FORMER Melbourne priest has claimed a global cover-up of child sexual abuse within the Catholic Church was orchestrated by the Vatican.
Philip O’Donnell told the child abuse Royal Commission today church leaders in Rome would have issued strict instructions on how to deal with the scourge.
It comes as new figures today revealed the church had paid almost $17 million in compensation to 316 victims of child sexual abuse since 1980.
In that time 454 people have complained of being sexually abused by priests, religious, employees andVOLUNTEERS within the Archdiocese of Melbourne.
Eighty-eight per cent of complaints related to incidents between 1950 to 1989, while the 1970s was the worst decade of abuse.
Of the complaints, 316 resulted in monetary compensation with victims receiving, on average, about $52,000.