Dublin archbishop: 'Radical change is coming in the church'

DUBLIN (CNS) -- After a year at the head of the Archdiocese of Dublin, Archbishop Dermot Farrell said, "Radical change is coming in the church," which will see a renewal of energy and new forms of ministry.

"With a powerful commitment from clergy and lay faithful, across the full range of the life and ministry of parish communities, we are going to experience a renewal of energy and the adoption of new forms of outreach and ministry," the 67-year-old archbishop told Catholic News Service. He also said he believes change is already happening in the church's structures all over the Western world.

"Pope Francis is offering us a way of being church, the synodal pathway, of walking together more closely and being a church that is hope-filled, despite many challenges."

The leader of the largest Irish diocese, with more than 1 million Catholics and 207 parishes, invited the faithful to "walk this journey together with me -- and walk it with hope: a hope that frees us to undertake radical change, a hope that inspires us to be ambitious and a hope encourages us to be brave."

In November, the archdiocese published its "Building Hope Task Force Report," a strategic plan for pastoral renewal amid major challenges such as a collapse in revenue and priest numbers.