In his homily at Tuam Cathedral today, Archbishop Michael Neary said it had been a difficult week for the Church.
The Archbishop of Tuam said the Ferns report was an important milestone and he apologised to all who had suffered abuse at the hands of priests.
The Tuam diocese had had an extra challenge, he said, when he had to ask a priest to stand aside from his ministry pending the outcome of an investigation into alleged criminal misconduct against an adult.
He said he first became aware of the claims this summer from the Gardaí but had not been convinced that public safety was at issue.
Archbishop Neary said he had to change that decision when details of the garda inquiry were leaked to the press.