ARCHBISHOP Diarmuid Martin of Dublin has said the Catholic Church "has lost its sense of fun" and he urged his flock to rediscover faith which is less dull and more joyful.
The archbishop said Pope Francis had "never lost his sense of fun" and the Pontiff used this to "disarm those who would want to make the church a place for the dull and stolid".
The archbishop was speaking at the launch of this year's Emmanuel Concert Series, one of the biggest annual gatherings of secondary school students across Ireland,
Archbishop Martin told the Irish Independent: "The church has to reach out in a very different way to young people and not tell them what to do but allow them to find their own place in the church.
"As somebody said to me, Emmanuel is about learning church music through fun. We have to have a more lively church rather than a stolid dull kind of place."
Emmanuel is celebrating 10 years since its launch and this year over 2,100 students from 61 schools, including St Mary's Girls School for the Deaf, will take part in its workshops and three nights of concerts at DCU's Helix theatre in March.
Fr Pat O'Donoghue, diocesan music director, said: "This year, Emmanuel is partnering with Trocaire and their campaign around water, so a lot of the music has a water theme."