ARCHBISHOP Diarmuid Martin is open to dialogue on the ordination of married men after Pope Francis signalled the need for the Catholic Church to discuss the issue.
But the head of the Dublin archdiocese said ordaining women into the church to make up for the shortage of priests was "not on the table at the moment".
Dr Martin acknowledged the shortage of priests was sparking fresh debate on allowing Catholic priests to be married. "The Pope said he is open to the question, he wants to listen to local churches. But he said no local church, no national church should go on its own," he said.
However, Dr Martin said he would "wait and see" what Pope Francis decides about allowing married men to join the church.
"I'll wait and see, certainly in missionary countries it must be very important," he said.
And he added more focus must be put on the deacons and discovering where "priests and lay people can take part in a more collaborative way in our parishes".
The archbishop was speaking at Easter Mass in the Pro-Cathedral, where he led the service and gave communion. He will be 10 years in the role next week. "I've been looking back on 10 years, I think my dominant impression is that I'm 10 years older – and I'm beginning to feel it," he said.
He said he has seen the church transform during that time.
"There have been a lot of changes – changes that have been good, and changes that have been sad," he said.
But he added he is seeing positive signs of growth.
"People who come to church now come out of real conviction, rather than out of some type of social pressure. And that's important. When I go around parishes I can see a sense of renewal that's taking place.
"Too often in the past our Christian ethics have been dominated by negatives."
He urged the congregation to follow resurrection ethics.
"A resurrection ethic has its contribution to make, especially in a society where everything seems to be transient and disposable," he said. "A resurrection ethic must leave us unhappy when others are not able to live their life to the full.
"And a resurrection ethic must consider revolting against all forms of violence which treat human life as if it has little value, and must leave us angry when people are trafficked and exploited.
"It must never leave us satisfied with where we are. Something more is always possible for us, and the world we live in."