Bishop of Ferns Dr Denis Brennan has invited the parishes of the diocese to help pay compensation and legal bills arising from clerical child sexual abuse.
He said the diocese has had to pay over €10.5m settling civil actions, paying its lawyers at the Ferns Inquiry, and treating offenders.
Dr Brennan's spokesman said that individual parishioners and priests had been asking what they could do to help.
Addressing parish representatives last night in Enniscorthy, Bishop Brennan said victims of abuse rightly had first call on the diocese's attention.
Perpetrators' actions combined with mismanagement, poor understanding and/or a lack of resolve had caused what he called ‘this tragedy’.
He said the diocese had spent over €8m settling 48 civil actions. Some litigants were abused over 60 years ago. Another 13 lawsuits are pending.
Over €750,000 had been spent treating offenders, which Dr Brennan called a long-term investment in protecting children.
Almost €1.5m had been paid recently for legal work on the State's Ferns Inquiry.
He thanked the Irish bishops' Stewardship Fund for paying over half of Ferns' total abuse bill.
His finance officer said insurance had paid another one-seventh but that, so far, the diocese had spent €3.5m partly by running down its savings and recently, by raising a €1.8m loan.
Bishop Brennan said one-fifth of 'the road to justice' remained to be travelled and that to complete it, he would have to seek funding from parishes.