ARCHBISHOP Diarmuid Martin has questioned whether Ireland has learned its lessons from the financial crash and says the Government may be "slavishly following models" by paying down €1.25bn to Anglo Irish Bank bondholders this week.
Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Dr Martin said that while a decision on paying the bondholders had to be taken, he would "hate" if we looked back in years to come and "realised that there were different options that weren't looked at".
"This is part of the system we are in, but in the long term it isn't the ECB and the IMF that will decide what happens in Ireland, it is Ireland itself and we do need to build up a different way of civil society participation."
He said we all needed to learn lessons from the past but that we must identify where the regulatory authorities fell down as part of our analysis.
"There is a real danger that unless we look at what went wrong, financial institutions will return to past ways," he said.
Dr Martin said austerity measures were hitting every voluntary body in the country, including the Catholic Church.
"Like everyone else, the church has to learn to live in a different way," he said.
Social inequality makes waves in Davos