It will take a lot more than good intentions to convince Hunter victims of Catholic Church sex abuse that the institution is serious about change.
Pope Francis opened an unprecedented summit on clerical sexual abuse, attended by 180 bishops and cardinals from around the world, including Australia, on Thursday.
Francis told the Catholic hierarchy that they had a responsibility to deal effectively with the crimes of priests who rape and molest children.
“Listen to the cry of the young who want justice,” the Pope said.
“The holy people of God are watching and expect not just simple and obvious condemnations, but efficient and concrete measures to be established."
Peter Gogarty and Bob O'Toole told the Newcastle Herald they doubted the summit would bring about meaningful change.
“I wasn’t expecting much and from what I’ve seen it has just reinforced my cynicism” Mr Gogarty said.
Mr Gogarty, who was abused by paedophile priest Jim Fletcher in the 1970s, said it was impossible for a "bunch of privileged blokes who have been shaped by the culture of the church and who have contributed to that culture" to solve the crisis in the church.
"I really don’t see how an old boys club can solve the problem," he said,"
Mr Gogarty said the Pope needed to prove with actions that he was serious about a zero tolerance approach to sexual abuse among clergy.
"What we have got is the Catholic Church talking about what it’s going to do about the problem.
"If they were serious about zero tolerance they would throw them (offenders) out of the church and report them to civil authorities immediately."
Abuse victims also hit out at the pope's comment that those who criticised the church without love were "friends of the devil".
Survivor advocate Bob O'Toole said he was taken aback by the comment.
"You could say the Catholic Church does a lot of good things, and that is true, but it’s culture is toxic and needs to change before it can move forward" he said.