The Vatican has denied Irish government accusations that it attempted to undermine bishops who reported sexual abuse in Catholic churches.

In a 24-page response to an independent Irish government investigation into abuse in the rural diocese of Cloyne, the Holy See said the report was “inaccurate” and “unfounded.”

Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny openly criticized the Holy See in July for its handling of abuse, referring to the Vatican’s “dysfunction, disconnection and elitism.”

The speech brought relations between the Holy See and the Irish government to a historic low and prompted the Vatican to recall its ambassador to Ireland.

The Cloyne Report, the fourth Irish investigation into sexual abuse claims against Catholic clergy since 2005, found that Vatican officials tried to quash attempts by Irish bishops to protect children. The report noted the Vatican did not act on rape claims brought forward about 19 priests in the diocese as recently as 2009.

Many Irish who have grown tired of the scandal welcomed Kenny’s speech. The first abuse claims against the Catholic Church came to light in Ireland in 1996.

The Vatican has rejected all claims that it attempted to cover up rape or interfere with priests reporting sexual abuse.

Check out the video clip of Kenny's July 20 speech:

OA_show('Leaderboard - incontent article/blog');