The Archbishop of Tuam, Michael Neary, has said priests and bishops share the public's anger and distress at the Church's mishandling of clerical child sex abuse.
Archbishop Neary made the comments during his homily at mass on the top of Croagh Patrick this morning.
He said it was "understandable" that practicing Catholics felt discouraged by recent revelations and added that the Church had been shaken by wrongdoing.
Speaking in his homily, Archbishop Neary said many are "angered and appalled" by what they have learned.
He said these feelings are shared by priests, religious and bishops also.
Archbishop Neary celebrated mass on the summit of Croagh Patrick in Co Mayo for the annual Reek Sunday pilgrimage.
Mayo Mountain Rescue estimated that up to 20,000 people climbed the mountain in foggy conditions.
Some 120 rescue personnel were on duty, with a spokesman stating that up to 50 people had been treated for minor ailments by mid-afternoon.