The Catholic Church in Ireland might look to how Fianna Fáil has reinvented itself when considering its own future, a leading Dublin priest has said.
Msgr Dermot Lane, president of the Mater Dei Institute, said: "It is worth observing in passing how Fianna Fáil has reinvented itself in the last two years. Is it conceivable that the church might reinvent itself to become a servant church, especially of the poor, the social conscience of society, the champion of social justice?"
In a paper published yesterday, he asked whether the bishops "could now establish a group of eight to advise them on the reform and the renewal of the Catholic Church?"
The group might include a disaffected intellectual, a woman, a business person, a theologian, a lay person active in ministry, a priest and a bishop, he said.
The urgent issues facing the church included “the overcoming of clericalism, bridging the gap between intellectuals and the institutional church, healing the wounds revealed in the Ferns, Murphy and the Ryan reports, and the regaining of trust among people”.
Pope Francis had "challenged the church to become 'the home of all, not a small chapel that holds a small group of selected people'."
If this was to happen in Ireland “the institutional church will have to heal the many wounds it has inflicted on so many people in the past”, Msgr Lane said.