THE CRISIS of faith in the Catholic Church needs responses that must â€œreally shake up and wake up the churchâ€, Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin said yesterday.
He said the church was at a crossroads and would face one of its biggest challenges between now and the year 2020.
â€œThe church in 2020 will be a very different one to the one we encounter today,â€ he said. â€œThe churchâ€™s role in society will be different, but not irrelevant.â€
Dr Martin said there was â€œa real crisis of faithâ€ and that could only be addressed by real renewal in the faith. â€œBut revolutions are not achieved by half-hearted or piecemeal responses,â€ he said.
â€œOur current system of faith formation, both for those attending school but also for adults, is not adequate. The enthusiasm for change in the way we transmit the faith is insufficient.â€
He said the church must learn to focus on what is essential in its renewal.
The churchâ€™s contribution to society would come from a deeper understanding of who Jesus was and how he provided answers to the questions about life.
The archbishop was speaking as 46 people took part in a special ceremony in Dublin to join the Catholic Church. This ceremony, called the Rite of Election, takes place throughout the world every year on the first Sunday of Lent.
Some 40 people, called catechumens, were seeking recognition to be initiated into the Catholic Church by receiving Baptism, Confirmation and the Eucharist in their parishes at the Easter Vigil.
Another six people, called candidates, have already been baptised into other Christian churches but now wish to join the Catholic Church. They will also receive Confirmation and the Eucharist in their parish churches at the Easter Vigil.