A Catholic order will pay A$3.5 million (HK$20.86 million) compensation to end a class action in one of the largest child abuse cases in Australian history. The Christian Brothers have offered the sum to 210 men who say they were sexually and physically abused as children by members of the order. Each of the men will be offered up to A$25,000 depending on the severity of the abuse and their ability to substantiate their allegations, although some can expect to receive as little as A$2,000. The class action will now be permanently adjourned. It is understood 160 of the men have agreed to accept the offer. The remaining 50 may pursue further legal action individually. The men, mostly in their 30s, are all former residents of Christian Brothers' orphanages and boys' homes in Western Australia. Many were sent there as so-called 'child migrants' from Britain, Ireland and Malta. They brought their civil case to the New South Wales Supreme Court in August 1993, prompting an official apology from the order, which acknowledged that abuses took place. The order recently sold property in Sydney worth A$5 million in an apparent bid to raise funds for the settlement. A spokesman for the men said the settlement was a 'national disgrace', but added many of the victims felt they had to accept it or nothing. Cardinal Carlo Martini, widely tipped as the successor to Pope John Paul, defended the Catholic clergy's reputation, saying it could not be held responsible for the sexual crimes of a minority in the order.