Catholic Archbishop of Dublin begins consultation process on future of Church

Taskforce to prepare proposals on spiritual and pastoral renewal by end of summer

Catholics in Dublin are being invited by Archbishop Dermot Farrell to give their views on the future of the Church in the archdiocese, in a three-week consultation process which begins on Sunday. It concludes on Sunday, July 18th.

Introducing the process, he has told all Catholics and people of goodwill, “I want to hear from you.” He continued “today I am reaching out to you and your family, inviting you to contribute to this work.”

He invited people “to have a conversation in your family, grandparents, great grandparents, parents and children on how you see God at work in our Church today, on where the Holy Spirit is calling us to grow.”

He asked that “somebody in your family visit and click on the link for consultation to share how you see the Holy Spirit at work in our diocese.” Sharing “your thoughts and experiences will be invaluable as we seek to enable the archdiocese to act now so as to give effective witness and service in the years ahead,” he said.


Last April Archbishop Farrell set up the Building Hope taskforce, which he has asked to assess the needs of the people of the archdiocese “as it emerges from Covid-19 and to support parish communities as they undertake radical renewal.”


Made up of 14 people, seven of them women, the taskforce is chaired by Msgr Ciaran O'Carroll, administrator of Donnybrook. Archbishop Farrell said "it reflects the diversity of the Archdiocese of Dublin, in terms of geography, expertise and the balance between lay and clerical, and male and female members" and would adopt "an inclusive approach to a pastoral strategy appropriate to our times."

He has asked that it conclude its work by the end of this summer.

In a message introducing the consultation process, he said that "when Pope Francis asked me to become the Archbishop of Dublin my heart was filled with hope, not a naive hope that everything will be better tomorrow, but a hope born of a conviction that transcends these difficult days through which we are living and a hope that transcends the limits of our own capabilities."

The taskforce, he said, was “reaching out to the parishes and deaneries, schools and hospitals, prisons and universities, charitable organisations and youth groups” on his behalf.

It would report to him “later in the summer with a proposal to start a process of spiritual and pastoral renewal in our Church,” he said. “What we do in the coming months and years, how we live through this time of challenge and opportunity, will define who we really are as a people of faith,” he said.

“We must embrace the future,” he said. “May God bless you as you take this first step with me to rebuilding our church together,” he concluded.

Patsy McGarry

Patsy McGarry

Patsy McGarry is a contributor to The Irish Times