Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin has denied morale is so low amongst clerics working in his diocese as to be beyond repair.

Dr Martin made the remarks in response to criticism from Fr Aquinas Duffy after he quit as chairman of the Priests Council.

Fr Duffy had claimed in the Irish Catholic newspaper that morale of the clergy in the Diocese of Dublin was at an "all time" low.

He also maintained that many within the church felt "disillusioned and sometimes abandoned" and claimed there was a level of frustration amongst priests.

Calling for the establishment of diocesan councils at a structural level where they could have a real say, Fr Duffy also called for a move towards a less hierarchical structure to a more collaborative approach within the Dublin diocese.



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Dr Martin admitted that morale within the clergy is low across Ireland but he denied any sense of crisis within his own group of priests in Dublin.

“I can see that we have in Dublin a great group of priests that are out there enthusiastically doing their work and about renewing the work of the diocese and I would hope that enthusiasm would be the thing that would dominate,” said Archbishop Martin.

“The danger about saying that morale is low in any circumstance is that it becomes a self-perpetuating prophecy and just makes morale lower.

“We have to look forward and commit ourselves to the type of renewal that’s going on and I have seen in this diocese tremendous priests that are doing that without counting the cost.”

The Dublin church leader also admitted that the Catholic Church in Ireland may have to review its fund-raising approach in the wake of recent scandals.

“Every organization is facing financial difficulties. The answers to those are the same,” he said.

“You have to cut back, see where expenditure is not necessary, to look at all of those and then to see, maybe revise, the whole way we look at raising funds for the church.”

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin during Ash Wednesday mass at University College Dublin.