FIRST ON 7: On the eve of Easter, and a week out from a Royal Commission, a former priest has published explosive allegations about cover-ups, sexuality and hypocrisy in Australia's Catholic Church.

Kevin Lee has taken aim at Cardinal George Pell and other high-ranking clergy, and says he doesn't care if he's sued.

Mr Lee used to be a priest, until he married and left the clergy because he could no longer stand it.

"People have confessed to me that they are paedophiles and that I am expected to keep that a secret," he said.

Many secrets, he claims, have been kept too long.

"A lot of people say, 'I don't go to Church because the priests are a bunch of impostors, and I'm convinced they're right."

His book, "Unholy Silence", went online this evening, and it chronicles his experience of cover-up and hypocrisy from his days studying to be a priest.

"Even in the dormitory I lived in, it was nicknamed 'The AIDS Wing' because there was a belief that a lot of the people living there were going to get AIDS because they were just so promiscuous," he said.

He also writes about how the Church hierarchy dealt with claims of sexual abuse.

"Bishops that I've told about child abuse have mostly been concerned about how much money the victim was looking for."

And in the book, Lee is scathing of Australia's highest-ranking Catholic, Cardinal George Pell.

"I went to see him and speak to him about various priests that I was aware of, or that I had suspicions of, and his reaction to my allegations was, 'Well I hope you're wrong.' So to me, he was dismissive."

Kevin Lee says Cardinal Pell told him he investigated, but found nothing.

The former priest will name and shame, anyway despite the fact the allegations are untested.

Kevin Lee has published his book online from an American-based website, so authorities here can't have it removed.

He says he'll probably be sued, but also says he doesn't care, if it means the allegations are tested in court.

"I don't know whether there's a moral law that can prohibit a person from protecting someone that's vulnerable."

"I have recorded conversations with people that I know they are not aware of, so I know that I can substantiated everything."

On the eve of Easter, and a week out from a Royal Commission, former priest Kevin Lee has published explosive allegations about cover-ups, sexuality and hypocrisy in Australia's Catholic Church. Photo: 7News

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