There is little sympathy for victims of sexual abuse within the Christian Brothers, a member of the order has told a Victorian parliamentary inquiry.
In fact, the order has developed a culture of denial, historian Barry Coldrey says.
"At the moment, the mood is sullen, angry and certainly little sympathy is expressed for victims," Dr Coldrey told the inquiry into sexual abuse within religious organisations in Melbourne on Friday.
"No one ever won an election in the Christian Brothers by expressing sympathy for victims."
Dr Coldrey said there were members who refused to accept the guilt of Brother Robert Best, who was convicted of abusing 11 boys over a 20-year period.
He said the state needed to intervene with a solution to the issue of child sexual abuse within the church.
People would have to be "mugs" to accept what the church said about the issue on face value, he said.
The inquiry continues.