A Catholic Church watchdog has hit out at some religious orders in Ireland for being slow to enforce child protection measures.
In the latest probe launched after numerous paedophile scandals, it was found that some priests evaded new protocols to continue ministry despite admitting to abusing children.
Teresa Devlin, chief executive of the National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church in Ireland, commended Church dioceses for improving protection but warned about a lack of progress in orders.
"For the religious congregations and missionary societies, progress appears slower," she said. "There has been a sea change in that all are now conscious of their obligations around reporting, (but) unfortunately in two cases we saw that priests continued in ministry even though admissions were made and in another order cases against deceased brothers, former brothers and lay teachers were not always notified to the gardai."
The latest reviews found that two priests in the Society of Divine Word, which sends missionaries around the world, were allowed to continue in their ministry despite having admitted to child sexual abuse. It is understood both men were in ministry in Ireland for a time after perpetrating the abuse before they were removed.