Senior Vatican official speaks out over 'abominable acts' of Irish clergy in sex abuse

Irish pedophile priests must admit blame for their "abominable acts," a top Vatican official has said.

And Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone has warned of storms ahead for the Irish Church over the sex abuse scandal.

Cardinal Bertone made the comments during a sermon to a group of 24 Irish bishops in Rome for crisis talks with Pope Benedict.

The bishops are meeting Pope Benedict for two days of talks over the Irish Church sex abuse scandal.

The mass took place in St Peter's Basilica just before the talks started.

"Yes, storms spark fear, even those that rock the boat of the church because of the sins of its members," Cardinal Bertone said.

He said trials within the church "are naturally harder and more humiliating" particularly when "men of the church were involved in such particularly abominable acts."

These crisis talks are the first of their kind for eight years and could result in a major shake-up of the Irish Church.