Parishioners in Dublin will be asked to dig deeper at mass collections as their diocese heads for bankruptcy.

Catholic church leaders in the Irish capital have admitted that the diocese is close to financial ruin.

Priests face a further 25 per cent cut to their meagre wages as the Dublin church attempts to come to terms with a near $15million deficit.

Settlements in clerical abuse cases added to growing costs and falling contributions have led to the latest crisis.

The 199 parishes did help to cut the deficit by over $10million in 2011 but the Irish Independent reports that further savings need to be made.

Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin has now asked churchgoers to ‘dig deep’ to help church finances.

“We are asking mass-goers for continued generous giving and increased financial resources,” he said in a letter obtained by the newspaper.

Last September priests made an appeal from the altar for an increase in contributions.

Dublin priests, paid an average of just $30,000, a year are about to be asked to take a 10 per cent pay cut on top of a recent 15 per cent reduction.

The archbishop is also to take a pay cut in line with his priests.

Latest figures show that almost all contributions fell in the Dublin diocese in 2011 with family offerings down to $19million from $20million.

Collections for the support of priests fell from $21millionto $19million last year.

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