Victorian priest Frank Klep has been jailed for 10-and-a-half years for sexually abusing 15 schoolboys.
Victorian County Court Judge Frank Gucciardo briefly stopped the sentencing after breaking down while describing the impact of Klep's crimes.
"The young men you have abused were broken by your conduct," Judge Gucciardo told Klep on Monday.
He said there was no doubt Klep's conduct plumbed "the depths of evil hypocrisy".
Klep abused the boys between 1974 and 1983, while he was a priest and teacher at Salesian College in Rupertswood.
He must serve six-and-a-half years in jail before being becoming eligible for parole.
Klep, 70, pleaded guilty to 15 counts of indecent assault, buggery, attempted buggery and rape.
He preyed on boys who had been sent to the school’s infirmary, which he operated.
Klep also pinned a boy down on a bed and raped him.
On one occasion, a boy who Klep was abusing asked him what he was doing. Klep replied that it was ‘‘natural’’.
Broken Rites researcher Dr Bernard Barrett said Klep was inflicted upon his victims as the Catholic Church looked the other way.
‘‘It’s not just what he did with his left hand or his right hand, it’s what he was allowed to do,’’ he told reporters outside court.
‘‘Their parents trusted the church in those days. Those days are gone.’’
Judge Gucciardo said he accepted that Klep was remorseful and had a low risk of reoffending.
At a plea hearing last month, defence barrister Julie Sutherland said Klep had a spectacular fall from grace and had become a pariah who was known as ‘‘the pedophile priest’’ wherever he went.
Klep has twice before been convicted sexually abusing children.
In 2005, he was given a five-year-and-10-month prison sentence for offending under similar circumstances.
He was previously convicted of child sex crimes in 1994 and placed on an intensive corrections order.
Klep was defrocked in 2006.