Catholic rules on issues like contraception and same-sex relationships are "disconnected from real life experience of families", according to the Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin.
The Archbishop has revealed some of the findings of a survey amongst people in his diocese.
Catholics around the country were surveyed ahead of a bishops' discussion on the family in Rome next October.
Archbishop Martin is the only Irish bishop to publicise the findings of the research so far.
Father Tony Flannery from the Association of Catholic Priests has welcomed the move, and says it is now over to Pope Francis.