After the release of an Irish government report which claimed church leaders concealed sex offences for over 30 years, the Vatican issued a statement saying the pope felt "outrage, betrayal and shame" over the scandal. He added that he would write to the Irish people about sexual abuse.
But O'Connor, who once inflamed Catholic sensibilities by ripping up a picture of Benedict's predecessor Pope John Paul on live television, said in a letter that the pope had remained silent on child abuse for too long.
"I demand the Pope stand down for his contemptible silence on the matter and his acts of non-co-operation with the inquiry," O'Connor wrote in a letter to a British newspaper, published ahead of a meeting between Irish church leaders and the pope at the Vatican.
"Popes have had no problem voicing their opinions when we wanted contraception or divorce," O'Connor said. "No problem criticizing 'The Da Vinci Code'. No problem criticizing Naomi Campbell for wearing a bejewelled cross."
"Yet when it comes to the evils done by paedophiles dressed as priests they are silent. It is grotesque, unbelievable, bizarre and unprecedented. They stand for nothing now but evil."
The Church in the overwhelmingly Catholic country has been rocked by two reports this year on abuse. The Murphy Commission Report issued on November 26 found it had "obsessively" hidden child abuse from 1975 to 2004.
O'Connor caused uproar in Ireland when a breakaway Catholic group ordained her a priest at a ceremony staged in Lourdes ten years ago.