Derry woman Kate Walmsley, 55, hit out after her parish priest, Father Paddy O'Kane, said he would rather go to jail than be break canon law and reveal the secrets of the confessional box.
Father O'Kane, who is parish priest at Holy Family parish in Derry's Ballymagroarty estate, was speaking after the Irish Government's Minister for Justice, Alan Shatter, said he intends to introduce legislation to force priests to break the confessional seal in the interests of child protection.
On Tuesday night an emotional Mrs Walmsley, who says she was abused by a priest in the confessional box while being cared for at Nazareth House in Derry as an eight-year-old, believes the catholic church has failed victims.
"He is putting the interests of the perpetrator first," she said. "Most people believe he should tip off social workers or the police. I feel God didn't make that rule, the church made it but it's now 2011 and times have changed."
Mrs Walmsley gave a harrowing account of her abuse while being cared for by the Sisters of Nazareth in Derry's Bishop Street.
"Every Saturday a nun used to hand me over to a priest," she said. "Even if I was in the middle of a group of children I used to be taken out of the queue and kept to last. The first time this happened, when I was eight, he was putting his hands down my top and down my pants.
"He then started bringing me to a room behind the altar and he would abuse me there."
I just want priests and bishops to accept the facts, they should admit these things happened, come clean and examine their own conscience.
Mr Walmsley says she was initially angry at Fr O'Kane's remarks.
"I was angry and I didn't know what to do," she said.
"My head was running. The people who go to confessions to confess these things will go back out into the community and think that all is forgiven and do it again.
"I think it's the priests themselves that need to confess openly what they did to us when we were young.
"I suffered a lot of abuse, not just sexually, but emotionally. Then I was in a child's mind and the abuse became a part of my life. It was going to happen every Saturday and I got used to that. But I'm an adult now and I'm reliving it and it's more hurtful now. It's ten times the hurt and I feel like running away somewhere.
"I don't think Fr O'Kane knows what he is talking about because he has never felt hurt the way I hurt."
The Catholic Church has voiced its total opposition to the Irish Government's confession plan.
At the weekend Archbishop of Armagh Cardinal Sean Brady said any intrusion on the sacrament was "a challenge to the very basis of a free society".
Fr O'Kane defended his remarks on Tuesday night.
"Would she expect me to renounce my priesthood?" he said.
"I could not continue to be a priest and I would be excommunicated. Is she calling for priests to abandon their vocation?
"This is not my law, this is the essence of being a priest.
"Do you agree with the right of a solicitor keeping the conversations confidential? It's the same context.
"We are talking here about the rehabilitation of the offender, getting them to change their ways, offering them mercy and offering the person an opportunity to turn over new leaf.
"Quite often abusers have been abused themselves."