The Archbishop of Dublin, Diarmuid Martin, has backed the Pope’s call for open and immediate discussion on married priests.

Dr Martin told an Easter service at Dublin’s Pro-Cathedral that he is open to dialogue on married men in the priesthood.

His comments, reported by the Irish Independent, come after Pope Francis signaled the need for the Catholic Church to discuss the issue.

Celebrating his tenth anniversary as Dublin’s archbishop, Dr Martin said ordaining women into the church to make up for the shortage of priests was ‘not on the table at the moment.’

The report says Dr Martin acknowledged the shortage of priests will spark fresh debate on allowing Catholic priests to be married.

The Archbishop said, “The Pope said he is open to the question, he wants to listen to local churches. But he said no local church, no national church should go on its own.

“I’ll wait and see, certainly in missionary countries it must be very important.

“More focus must be put on the deacons and discovering where priests and lay people can take part in a more collaborative way in our parishes.”

Looking back on his 10 years in office, Dr Martin added, “I’ve been looking back on 10 years, I think my dominant impression is that I’m 10 years older and I’m beginning to feel it.

“There have been a lot of changes – changes that have been good, and changes that have been sad. But I see positive signs of growth.

“People who come to church now come out of real conviction, rather than out of some type of social pressure. And that’s important. When I go around parishes I can see a sense of renewal that’s taking place.

“Too often in the past our Christian ethics have been dominated by negatives.”

Dr Martin also urged the congregation to follow resurrection ethics, according to the Irish Independent report.

He added, “A resurrection ethic has its contribution to make, especially in a society where everything seems to be transient and disposable.

“A resurrection ethic must leave us unhappy when others are not able to live their life to the full.

“And a resurrection ethic must consider revolting against all forms of violence which treat human life as if it has little value, and must leave us angry when people are trafficked and exploited.

“It must never leave us satisfied with where we are. Something more is always possible for us, and the world we live in.”