The Vatican has expressed its "dismay and betrayal" at the "sinful and criminal acts" by Catholic clergy guilty of child abuse across Ireland.In a report published on Tuesday, it called for a "new focus on the laity" within the Irish Catholic Church.
The scandals had "opened many wounds", it said, and lay people had "lost trust in their pastors".
The report acknowledged "innocent young people" were abused by clerics to whose care they had been entrusted.
It said that "those who should have exercised vigilance often failed to do so effectively".
The report also said that good priests felt "unjustly tainted" and not defended by superiors.
"Bishops and superiors have often felt isolated as they sought to confront the wave of indignation and, at times, they have found it difficult to agree on a common line of action," the report said.
It recommended continued support for the victims and survivors of Catholic clerical abuse in Ireland.
The report also sought to bring the Irish Church back into line with the teachings of Rome.
Bridget Mary's Reflection:
The Vatican does not "get it" as far as the reform of the institutional church goes. In the end, the global sexual abuse scandal is about the abuse of power by priests and bishops in the Catholic Church. Until the Vatican reforms the clerical culture with a renewed priestly ministry which includes women priests and married priests as well as celibate priests in a transparent and accountable community of faith, nothing will change.
Bridget Mary Meehan