Archbishop says talk of low morale self-defeating


THE ARCHBISHOP of Dublin has said the diocese has a great group of priests enthusiastically carrying out their work and that talk of low morale is self-defeating.

His comments came following the resignation of the chairman of the Priests Council, Fr Aquinas Duffy who, in remarks to the Irish Catholicnewspaper, said the morale of the clergy in the Dublin diocese was at an “all time low”.

Although Fr Duffy told the paper that his resignation in recent weeks was due to time constraints, he said that many within the church felt “disillusioned and sometimes abandoned”.

The paper quoted Fr Duffy as saying there was a level of frustration in the diocese and advocated a move towards a less hierarchical structure to a more collaborative approach which would include the involvement of diocesan councils at a structural level where they could have a “real say”.

Speaking yesterday at the launch of annual results for Crosscare, a Catholic charity which provides homeless services, Dr Martin said morale right across the country wasn’t very high at the moment.

“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.

“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.”

In the wake of reports of financial difficulties faced by the archdiocese, Dr Martin conceded that the church may have to revise the way it raises funds.

“Every organisation is facing financial difficulties. The answer to those are the same. 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 to ensure that things like Crosscare can continue.”