Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore said that it is his personal view that the Catholic Primate of all Ireland, Cardinal Seán Brady, should resign in the wake of the latest abuse scandal.
It follows claims in a BBC TV programme that information on victims of paedophile Fr Brendan Smyth was given to a Church investigation, which Seán Brady was a member of, but was not passed on to parents or law enforcement authorities.
Cardinal Brady said he was just a notetaker in that inquiry.
In the Dáil today, the Tánaiste said that whether it was the 1970s or today, anybody with information about the rape of a child had and has a duty to pass it on.
Minister Gilmore said that the Government does not have a view on Cardinal Brady's position as head of the Catholic Church here, but he himself does.
"I have always believed in the separation of church and State," said the Tánaiste.
"I think it is the job of Government and of the State to enact our laws and to ensure that those laws apply to everybody whether they belong to a church or not.
"It is my own personal view that anybody who did not deal with the scale of the abuse that we have seen in this case should not hold a position of authority."
Meanwhile, a helpline has said it has received a spike in calls from people seeking support folllowing the latest revelations.
The Connect Counselling service has reminded the public that it is available for anyone who is distressed and needs to talk to someone.
The service will run this evening and over the weekend from 6pm to 10pm.
The number from Ireland is freefone 1800 477 477.