The shock report into clerical child abuse in the Irish capital may be censored, has learned.

Justice Minister Dermot Ahern has sought advice from the High Court about publishing the report, which was submitted to him on July 21.

The report, which was commissioned in 2006, examines how the Dublin Archdiocese managed 46 cases of alleged abuse since 1940.

However, since two priests named in the report are to be prosecuted for child abuse offenses, Minister Ahern has been advised that publishing the report in its current format would might prejudice ongoing criminal proceedings.

"When the report was published I indicated that I was anxious that the matters dealt with in the report would be put in the public domain as quickly as possible, but that I was concerned that nothing should be done which would harm the prospects of the perpetrators of these horrific acts of depravity against children being brought to the justice they deserve," Ahern said.

"The legal advice available to me as to how I must proceed is clear and the necessary steps are now being taken with all possible speed."

If the High Court decides that sections of the report could prejudice criminal proceedings, it can order that the report, or parts of the report not be published for a certain period of time or until the court deems fit.