Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny has launched a blistering attack on the Catholic Church in parliament in Dublin.
He said a recent report into how allegations of sex abuse by priests in the diocese of Cloyne in County Cork had been covered up, showing change was urgently needed.
Mr Kenny said the report showed the reputation of the Church had been put before protecting children.
In an unprecedented attack, the taoiseach said the historic relationship between church and state in Ireland could not be the same again.
In response, the Archbishop of Dublin said groups in the Vatican and the Irish hierarchy were trying to undermine child protection measures.
Dr Diarmuid Martin said on RTE on Wednesday systems in place were ignored. ''What do you do when you've got systems in place and somebody ignores them?'' he said.