While the Irish Catholic Church might not be as numerically strong as it was in the past, there is still a great vibrancy in Irish Catholicism, said Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin.
"The Church is not on the way to extinction.
It is carrying out a vital role in society," Martin said March 15 at a seminar on Church-state relations.
"It is easy to point to areas where the Church failed its people, failed society, failed its mission and, sadly, failed its most vulnerable . . . but the balance of the activity of the Church in Irish society is one where the message of Jesus produced goodness and care and deep reflection on the meaning of life and of society," he said.
"Alongside its failures, the Church over the years has never been absent from the most alienated sectors of society," he added.