Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin has called for the Church to take a reality check after the gay marriage vote.
Archbishop Martin declared the groundswell of support for same-sex couples was a social revolution that did not happen in the last day.
“It’s a social revolution that’s been going on – perhaps in the Church people have not been as clear in understanding what that involved,” he said.
“It’s clear that if the referendum is an affirmation of the views of young people the Church has a huge task in front of it.”
In the weeks running up to polling day, a series of Catholic bishops issued open letters to congregations outlining their concerns about gay marriage and why the Church would not support the reform.
The Primate of All Ireland, Archbishop of Armagh Eamon Martin, said the hierarchy may even reconsider its position on whether priests would continue to solemnise the civil aspect of a marriage if the vote was passed.
But Archbishop Diarmuid Martin called on Church leaders to take a look at itself and how it interacts with young people and their views.
“I think really the Church needs to do a reality check,” he told RTE.
“I appreciate how gay and lesbian men and women feel on this day. That they feel this is something that is enriching the way they live. I think it is a social revolution.”
Archbishop Diarmuid Martin said the Church needs to look at all areas it is involved in, from the things it is doing well in to areas where it has drifted away from young people.
The senior cleric said that there have discussions at the highest level in the church on where the contact was between the Church in Ireland and young people.
“We have to stop and have a reality check, not move into denial of the realities. We won’t begin again with a sense of renewal with a sense of denial,” he said.
“I ask myself, most of these young people who voted yes are products of our Catholic school system for 12 years. I’m saying there’s a big challenge there to see how we get across the message of the Church.”