Perth Catholic Archbishop Timothy Costelloe in heated exchange over handling of child sex cases

The Roman Catholic Archbishop of Perth has defended the church’s handling of child sexual abuse compensation claims during an at-times heated appearance before a West Australian parliamentary inquiry.

On Monday, the Most Reverend Timothy Costelloe said he rejected any suggestion the church was trying to avoid taking responsibility for historical child sex abuses or did not take such complaints seriously.

Under intense questioning from Labor MP Dave Kelly over the church’s handling of complaints, Archbishop Costelloe said he took full responsibility for the areas for which he was rightly responsible and did his best to ensure that those who had been hurt by other agencies in the church were referred to the ­correct people.

Archbishop Costelloe appeared as a witness to the WA parliamentary inquiry into the options available to survivors of institutional child sexual abuse.

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