A Sydney court has heard that a former priest who sexually abused 39 young boys preyed on them because he felt sorry for them.
John Sidney Denham has pleaded guilty to sexually abusing the boys at several schools in New South Wales, the ABC reports.
Lawyers have been making their final submissions to Judge Helen Syme as she considers his sentence for the offences, which date back to 1968.
Denham has described himself as a "mere scumbag paedophile".
The 67-year-old told the court that he had spent the past 25 years trying to figure out why he did it. He was unable to offer an explanation for his behaviour but said it might have been motivated by hubris.
"It was as if I thought no one could resist me," he said.
Saying it had been 25 years since his last offence, Denham apologised to the victims and their families.