Taoiseach Enda Kenny has called on the Catholic Church and its congregations to "measure up" in relation to the compensation they owe to survivors of abuse, and "get on with it".
Speaking in Philadelphia, Mr Kenny said: "The Church and the congregations should measure up to the responsibility that they accepted here."
A report from the Comptroller and Auditor General last week showed that 18 religious orders have paid just 13% of the €1.5bn fund for victims of institutional abuse.
"We had a position following the residential institutions and the amount of restitution to be made there, and that hasn't been - what was set out in the beginning," Mr Kenny said.
"And I would expect that the congregations and the church would reflect on the seriousness of this, and measure up to their requirements.
"I referred a number of matters to the Pope when I met with him last year and I would expect that the Vatican would respond to those."
Since last week's confirmation of significant quantities of human remains at a former mother and baby home in Tuam, there has been a renewed focus on the history of religious institutions across Ireland.
"For the importance and sensitivity of Tuam and any others that follow we need to try get this as right as we can," Mr Kenny added.
"I do hope that the Church and the congregations reflect on the years ahead and that with the State and agencies trying to get this right, particularly for those whose siblings and families were involved to measure up insofar as accepting responsibility or agreements where restitution is concerned and get on with it."
Catholic Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin last night said that the Church's commitments, in relation to the compensation they owe to abuse victims, cannot be reneged upon.