List of 154 clergy members accused of sexual abuse has been handed to authorities in Australia.

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List of 154 clergy members accused of sexual abuse has been handed to authorities in Australia.

A list of 154 Marist Brothers who are accused of or proven to have abused children over 25 years, has been handed to the Royal Commission in Newcastle.

The organisation’s former professional standards director, Brother Alexis Turton, noted he was aware that 10 of the people on the list, which was generated from data spanning from 1980 to 2015, had admitted to offences.

He also said he talked to 52 of them over a period of about 17 years as a provincial from 1989 to 2005 and in his professional standards role from 2002 to 2012.

‘There were a few cases of excessive physical abuse,’ he told the Royal Commission into Instiutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse on Tuesday.

‘But the great majority were sexual abuse.’

The Royal Commission has heard harrowing evidence of children being groped in class, sexually abused in the chapel and raped in an office at Marist Brothers High School at Hamilton, near Newcastle.

It has also heard students at the Newcastle school were subjected to an extreme disciplinary regime, that included canings and beatings for seemingly small transgressions.

Brother Turton agreed the list would have been much longer if all the people who were subjected to severe physical punishment had come forward.

He said there was a view among some brothers that physical pain could be administered as punishment for getting school work wrong.

‘Can we ever try to understand why it is that the brothers …. behaved in such a way to young children?’ Royal Commission chair Justice Peter McClellan asked.

‘I don’t have the full explanation,’ Brother Turton replied.

The Royal Commission’s public hearing is examining how Maitland-Newcastle Catholic authorities dealt with allegations of sexual abuse against three Marist brothers, known as Brother Romuald, Brother Patrick and Brother Dominic.

It has heard school principals received complaints from students and parents about the abuse but allowed the teachers to continue in their roles.