updated 5/25/2009 4:24:22 AM ET 2009-05-25T08:24:22

Dublin Archbishop Diarmuid Martin has slammed Irish Catholic orders for concealing the extent of child abuse committed by their members.

Martin said the orders face a "last chance" to make amends with victims.

The comments published Monday in an Irish Times column are the harshest by a Catholic leader since investigators last week documented widespread abuse of children in schools run by 18 Catholic orders.

The archbishop said the church has lost credibility because of its weak response to abuse revelations. He said the orders' failure to pay their agreed share to a government compensation program for victims is "stunning," and accused them of living in denial about members behaving "with practically no morals."

More on: Ireland | Catholic abuse

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