Royal Commission hears evidence of shocking child sexual abuse in the Hunter region

Newcastle Herald

31 Aug 2016

THE Catholic Church has paid more than $25 million to Hunter region child sexual abuse survivors, the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has been told on the first day of a public hearing into Maitland-Newcastle diocese.

The diocese has substantiated claims or complaints from 158 people relating to 31 different perpetrators, counsel assisting the royal commission, Mr Stephen Free, said in an opening address highlighting decades of abuse in the region.

Nearly two-thirds of offenders were priests, and six per cent were members of a religious order.

The diocese has paid out claims to 46 victims of abuse from just one school – St Pius X, Adamstown, the royal commission was told.

The public hearing, which is expected to hear evidence until September 9, will consider the diocese’s handling of allegations against paedophile priest Vince Ryan, and the Marist Brothers’ response to allegations involving three Brothers – Romuald (Francis Cable), Patrick (Thomas Butler) and Dominic (Darcy O’Sullivan).

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