Royal commission into sexual abuse



"We have to shift the culture and that's a far more difficult thing to do," Archbishop Coleridge said.

The CEO of the Catholic Church's Truth Justice and Healing Council, Francis Sullivan, has told the ABC "it's the first time in the western world the Catholic Church has been so open about its data and its records".

"This is very confronting, it's a miserable tale, you can't put a coating on it, it speaks of so much damage, it's heartbreaking," Mr Sullivan said.

Commission heard harrowing evidence from abuse victims
The commission has investigated how institutions across the country, including schools churches, sports clubs and government organisations, have responded to allegations and instances of abuse.

Last August, the commission heard harrowing details from a number of abuse survivors in the Newcastle Anglican Diocese north of Sydney.

One victim, Paul Gray, told the commission he continued to suffer from a mental breakdown after being raped by a priest "on a weekly or fortnightly basis" for years.

In November, the Anglican Bishop of Newcastle gave evidence about allegations of abuse in the church there.

He spoke about himself being a victim of abuse at the hands of more senior clergy in his youth, and also gave details about the culture of abuse within the church.

The commission heard about alleged instances of child abuse in the Salvation Army institutions between 1940 and 1990, and evidence on how it failed to protect children and deal with reports of abuse.

It also heard evidence that the Australian Defence Force had a systemic problem of failing to provide support to victims of abuse.

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