Three Archbishops of Dublin covered up widespread child sex abuse by priests until the mid-1990s, according to a report commissioned by the Irish government.
One priest admitted abusing more than 100 children. Another said he had abused every two weeks for over 25 years, Reuters reports from the document.
All archbishops in charge over the 1975-2004 period covered by the inquiry were aware of some complaints. The archdiocese was pre-occupied with protecting the reputation of the Church, the report said, "obsessively" concerned with secrecy and operated a policy of "don't ask, don't tell" about abuse.
"The Dublin Archdiocese's pre-occupations in dealing with cases of child sexual abuse, at least until the mid-1990s, were the maintenance of secrecy, the avoidance of scandal, the protection of the reputation of the Church, and the preservation of its assets," the report said.
"All other considerations, including the welfare of children and justice for victims, were subordinated to these priorities," added the report, which was published by the country's Justice Ministry.
The report intended to show how the Church and state responded to charges of abusing children, and has found it "abundantly clear" that abuse was widespread, according to the news article.
Irish church obsessively hid child abuse - report (News.com.au/Reuters)