The founder of One in Four has called for Cardinal Sean Brady to admit he failed to act appropriately by not reporting the abuse of children in 1975.
A BBC documentary last night claimed Cardinal Brady was part of a team of clerics who were made aware of allegations of abuse by Fr Brendan Smyth in 1975, but failed to act.
However in a statement released before the programme aired last night, the Cardinal's spokesman said the then Father Brady was a notetaker for the inquiry, and it was not his responsibility to inform the civil authorities.
A further statement on the issue is expected from Cardinal Brady later today.
Founder of support group One in Four Colm O'Gorman said Cardinal Brady's inaction allowed the abuse of a significant number of children to persist.
He said: "I would hope the one thing we would get is a frank acknowledgement that his failure to act appropriately and properly and morally in 1975 did lead to very grave harm and to the abuse as we now know of a very significant number of children for many years."