A magpie perches on a gravestone at Milltown Cemetery in Belfast, Northern Ireland on March 21, 2010. REUTERS

The Irish Catholic Church is neglecting to investigate new allegations of sexual abuse, flaunting safeguards against pedophilia even as charges of systemic abuse engulfed the church.

According to the Cloyne Report, compiled by an independent investigative committee, details internal divisions over how to persecute sex crimes and a continued practice of covering up reported abuses. In 1996, the church introduced a set of guidelines laying out how priests were to report abuse to civil authorities, but the Cloyne Report revealed that those guidelines have largely been ignored.

That's the most horrifying aspect of this docuiment, Ireland's Minister for Children Frances Fitzgerald said at a news conference. This is not a catalogue of failure from a different era -- this is about Ireland now.

The report details complaints made against priests in the Cloyne Diocese between 1996 and 2009, none of them acted upon. It also implicates John Magee, the former bishop of the diocese, for having detached himself from the day to day management of child sexual abuse cases and making advances towards a young man.

Perhaps most damningly, the report describes how the Vatican sought directly to circumvent the requirements for reporting abuse. A 1997 letter to Irish bishops said that canon law, which allows cases to be appealed to the Vatican, superceded civil law.