The Report by the Commission of Investigation into the handling by Church and State authorities of allegations and suspicions of child abuse against clerics of the Catholic Archdiocese of Dublin, has shown a horrific pattern of abuse and cover-up over many years.
The 720-page report, which follows a three-year investigation, clearly indicates that Bishops in Dublin covered up decades of child abuse by priests in order to protect the church's reputation.
Yesterday, the Irish government said the report and investigation demonstrates that "a systemic, calculated perversion of power and trust was visited on helpless and innocent children in the archdiocese."
The finding are a massive blow to the status, integrity and standing of the Catholic Church in Ireland and in the world generally, and are sending shock waves across the country.
"The perpetrators must continue to be brought to justice, and the people of Ireland must know that this can never happen again," the Irish government said, apologising for the state's failure to hold Church authorities properly accountable to the law.
In a statement of response, Archbishop Diarmuid Martin said: "It is difficult to find words to describe how I feel today. As Archbishop of a Diocese for which I have pastoral responsibility, of my own native diocese, of the diocese for which I was ordained a priest, of a Diocese which I love and hope to serve to the best of my ability, what can I say when I have to share with you the revolting story of the sexual assault and rape of so many young children and teenagers by priests of the Archdiocese or who ministered in the diocese? No words of apology will ever be sufficient."
The full report is available at: www.justice.ie/en/JELR/Pages/PB09000504