A leading cleric has admitted that Irish Catholics have been left ‘angered and appalled’ by the scale of clerical sex abuse outlined in recent reports.

Archbishop of Tuam Michael Neary also told mass goers at an official pilgrimage to the summit of Croagh Patrick in Mayo that his church has been ‘shaken by wrongdoing’.

As officials confirmed that the pilgrim numbers on Croagh Patrick were down, Archbishop Neary said that the shocking revelations will only end when all survivors have told their stories.

Speaking in the wake of the Cloyne Report, the Archbishop agreed that many Catholics were experiencing distress and discouragement in relation to their religion.

“We are very conscious of the enormous difficulties besetting our church, chiefly in the number of innocent people who have suffered through the wrong-doing of some priests,” said Archbishop Neary.

“Many are angered and appalled by what they have learned. Indeed, these feelings are shared by priests, religious and, yes, bishops too.

“A woman asked me last week when it will all end. The honest answer is that it will not end until every survivor has told their story and until every victim is facilitated in embarking on their journey to real healing, where true dignity is accorded.”