He will meet the Pontiff briefly on Saturday

The Taoiseach Leo Varadkar Pope Francis must follow up his words with actions.

He was responding the Pontiff's promise this week to end the church's cover-ups of clerical sex abuse.

In an open letter earlier this week, the Pope said the heart-wrenching pain of these victims was "long ignored, kept quiet or silenced."

"The pain of the victims and their families is also our pain, and so it is urgent that we once more reaffirm our commitment to ensure the protection of minors and of vulnerable adults", he said.

The Taoiseach's comments come ahead of his meeting with Pope Francis this weekend.

Speaking to TV3 News, Mr Varadkar said the Pope's letter needs to be followed up with a new approach.

"The words were right - as is always the case for anyone who hold a position of responsibility, words must be followed by actions.

"And one thing that I feel very strongly about is the need to ensure that where... church authorities become aware of child sex abuse, that they should report that to the child protection national authorities".