The Archbishop of Ottawa is heading to Ireland this fall to examine how the Irish Catholic Church handled a massive sex abuse scandal.

Archbishop Terrence Prendergast is one of several senior bishops who will pour over the Church's response to officials who covered up for others who abused their power and molested children.

An Irish bishop resigned in late March for failing to tell police about church officials who sexually abused children.

In a one-on-one interview with CTV Ottawa, the archbishop talked about how the case relates to scandals facing churches in Canada.

"People have to know that we're truly sincere about doing the best possible thing that we can," said Prendergast.

He added that he wants church-goers to feel free to speak up about any problems they have with church officials. He says transparency is a key part of moving forward.

"If it was perceived that these acts of abuse took place because people were afraid to make known what they know, and if bishops when they found out about it, to safeguard the reputation of the Church, kept it hidden and in some instances even moved people where they could hurt others again. I don't think they wanted that to happen, but they felt maybe if the person got another chance they could do better."

He says the problem of abuse is a worldwide issue that spans cultures. He adds the Church needs to pay particular attention to warning signs and take action when officials are notified of abuse.

"There are times when I have to say: ‘The evidence is here. I need to correct this person; I need to take this person out. I need to say you can't continue administering anymore.' And that takes courage, and I think that's what our day needs. It needs courage."

With files from CTV Ottawa's Graham Richardson