Catholic Church needs to be held accountable for its sexual predators - abuse survivor

Warning: This article contains details that may disturb some people.

An abuse survivor says the Catholic Church needs to be held more accountable for its sexual predators.

His testimony was heard on the final day of evidence given to the Abuse in Care inquiry.

Mike Ledingham was just eight-years-old when he was abused for the first time. He's lived with the effects of it for more than 60 years.

"I lacked trust and closeness," he said. "In the end that's what killed my marriage after 25 years.

"They strip your innocence."

Ledingham told the Royal Commission how he along with a number of boys including his brothers, were abused by Father Frank Green at St Joseph's Catholic School in Onehunga between 1957 and 1969.

"If anyone of us did it, we would face years in jail," Ledingham said. "So how can they be allowed to get away with it?"

Friday has been the only day of the hearings to solely be about faith-based abuse. It's hoped more survivors will come forward.

Ledingham has been apologised to by the church - including on Friday at the inquiry, through a lawyer. Ledingham says it's not enough.

"This church owes everybody a lot," he said. "It owes the victims heaps, and they need to be brought to account. 

"The commission needs to make sure this church addresses this problem."

When the inquiry resumes in March, it'll start to consider the issue of redress for survivors.

This is New Zealand's biggest ever inquiry - the Governor General's not set to receive the final report with recommendations until 2023.

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