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Details of a special commission of inquiry report into child sex abuse in the Catholic church tell an appalling story of terribly tragic events, Maitland-Newcastle Catholic Bishop Bill Wright has said.
The diocesan head this morning broke his silence on the report (released on Friday) saying it was a 'bitter experience' to read the final analysis.
The inquiry found evidence for a senior clergyman to be prosecuted and made adverse findings against six other members of the diocese.
"For me, and others in this diocese, it is a bitter experience to read the report," Bishop Wright said during this morning's media conference.
"And some of the specific detail is news to me.
"I believe this report will stand as the definitive analysis of these terribly tragic events for both of us of the diocese and those of the wider community."
Bishop Wright said cooperating with the investigations stretched the capacities of the diocese and tested its endurance.
"That was as it had to be," he said.
"I believe it's clear to anyone who reads the report that no punches were pulled when it came to the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle or anyone in it.
"Nevertheless the special commissioner (Margaret Cunneen) and her entire team have my utmost respect for the rigorous and professional approach they maintained throughout this long, difficult 18 month process that is now completed."