'Rift growing' between youths and the Church
Ireland's most outspoken church leader has said that the two biggest problems facing young people were the Catholic Church's condemnation of gay couples and the question of suicide.
Archbishop of Dublin, Diarmuid Martin, said yesterday that these problems were causing "a disconnect" which was causing "a dramatic and growing rift" between the Church and the younger generation.
The archbishop accepted that this was partly the Church's fault because young people were much more questioning today than previously -- and he urged his priests to offer services in the parish that would be geared more towards their particular concerns.
From his experience of talking with young people, Archbishop Martin said that they were concerned not so much with church controversies, but more with deeper questioning about what life is about.
"They see through the superficial answers we give," he added.
Speaking in Dublin's Pro-Cathedral on Holy Thursday, the archbishop again appealed for more lay participation in the Church.
In Limerick, the problem of an increasingly steep fall in the number of priests was addressed by Bishop Donal Murray, who announced that 15 pastoral leaders would be commissioned to head nine new pastoral areas.