On Monday the Vatican announced the release of the preliminary results of the Holy See's probe into sex abuse within the Catholic Church in Ireland.
But sources warned the Italian press yesterday that it will take months before a final report is released in its entirety to the general public.
'By early 2012, the Holy See will publish an overall synthesis indicating the results and future' actions,' the Vatican said yesterday in a statement.
Pope Benedict XVI ordered the Vatican investigation in 2010, following a damning report commissioned by the Irish government that found evidence of widespread child sexual abuse by members of the church. The probe also bluntly stated that the Irish church had been involved in decades of cover-up.
In response to the report Pope Benedict expressed his 'shame and remorse' to Irish sex abuse victims and their families in a 2010 letter for what he called the 'sinful and criminal' acts committed by members of the clergy in Ireland.
The investigation comes as thousands more allegations of child abuse have been made in several European countries. In most cases the abuse by Catholic clergy was concealed by the church. Many of the latest cases to come to light date back decades.