The Bishop of Maitland-Newcastle, Bill Wright, said it was possible a pedophile ring once existed among clergy in the diocese, reports The Australian.
Bishop Bill Wright said his staff had "tried to join the dots" between individual abusive priests.
"One priest who was abusing someone was in a parish next to another priest who turned out to be an abuser. Or one known abuser contributing funds to the defence of another known abuser," Bishop Wright said.
"We've not exactly been able to join those dots. What we haven't got is evidence of them passing victims around, what you would call a ring. It's possible."
The Maitland-Newcastle diocese has paid out at least $15 million in settlements to more than 100 victims, while unofficial estimates put the total number of victims at hundreds more.
Some of this historic abuse took place with the knowledge of other senior clergy, Bishop Wright said.
Bishop Wright, has agreed to attend the launch of a book detailing the rape of an altar boy by a Catholic priest who later died in jail, the Sun-Herald has reported.
The book, Holy Hell, has been written by Patricia Feenan, one of the Hunter region's campaigners for a full royal commission on sexual abuse by the clergy in NSW.
The foreword to the book has been penned by whistleblower cop, Detective Chief Inspector Peter Fox, who will also attend the book launch at the Catholic Church complex in Newcastle on December 6.
Bishop Wright hints at possibility of pedophile ring (Australian)
Bishop to attend launch of book on clergy abuse (Sun-Herald)