RNA - Dutch newspaper NRC reported on Saturday that between 1945 and 2010, some 20 of 39 Dutch cardinals, bishops and their auxiliaries ‘covered up sexual abuse, allowing the perpetrators to cause many more victims”.
"Four abused children and 16 others allowed the transfer of paedophile priests who could have caused new victims in other parishes," the daily said.
Contacted by AFP, Church spokeswoman Daphne van Roosendaal said the church could "confirm a part" of these revelations.
Other elements were based on anonymous information relayed by a victims' assistance unit set up by the church.
"The names of several bishops correspond to those named in a report commissioned by the Church in 2010," the spokeswoman said.
The accused bishops are mostly dead, however, and the cases are all prescribed, she added.
None of the clerics implicated by the newspaper's investigation is yet active. Those still alive declined to comment, said the newspaper.
The revelations are the latest in a slew of assault allegations against the Catholic Church spanning several continents.
People in Australia, Europe, and North and South America have charged they were sexually assaulted by clergymen.
According to Press TV, German Archbishop Georg Gaenswein has described sexual abuse against minors by clergy as the church's "own 9/11".
In August, Pope Francis refused to comment on allegations by an ex-Vatican diplomat that the head of the Roman Catholic Church had helped cover up a serial of sexual abuses by a US cardinal, who was forced to resign the month before.
On Wednesday, the German Catholic Church said it was "dismayed and ashamed" by decades of child sex abuse by priests, after a report was leaked showing that thousands of minors were assaulted.