Church did not want to know about abuse: bishop

A FORMER Catholic bishop has told the child abuse royal commission nobody at high levels of the church wanted to know about the abuse.

Bishop Geoffrey Robinson, a critic of the church's response to abuse, gave evidence at the commission on Monday.

He said a document dating to 2001 given to high level meetings of Catholic bishops showed the church held crimes against the doctrine as more important than crimes including pedophilia.

Bishop Robinson said the document may never have become public had it not been for the commission's investigations.

He said it was a "completely foreign language" to him, and he was shocked by the concept that "crimes in relation to sacraments are a more serious crime than pedophilia".

"What upsets God is when a child gets abused, that's what makes God angry," he said.

"The whole thing here is, it just got to me; how can I talk to people who think this way?"

Bishop Robinson also told the commission that when issues of child abuse by clergy were raised within the church, "no one wanted to talk about it".

He also said the church's Towards Healing response to such allegations only dealt with 15% of cases and the other 85% of allegations made "were told to go away".