Archbishop Diarmuid Martin has announced that a Catholic Church representative will visit every household in the Dublin Archdiocese next year.

He told a congregation at a Holy Thursday Mass that everybody wounded by the Church would receive compassion and encouragement.

Archbishop Martin insisted that anybody on the margins of society would see that the Christian community cared.

In the current issue of the Irish Catholic newspaper, the Catholic Church in Ireland is accused of scandalously abusing power over many decades.

The editor of The Irish Catholic, Gary O'Sullivan, said said the Church should apologise to and seek forgiveness from people it has hurt.

Commenting on Cardinal Seán Brady's call on people to return to confession, Mr O'Sullivan warned that many feel it is the Church that needs repentance before they will darken its door again.

Mr O'Sullivan warns that the Church 'cannot just dust itself off after the abuse scandals and carry on expecting everyone to move on'.

Long before current controversies, abuse of power in the Church had scandalised many, he writes.

Among the past wrongs he challenges the hierarchy to apologise for are frequent hellfire and brimstone sermons promoting a false God of fear and punishment, clericalism lacking any Gospel humility, and preaching about Limbo and the burden it placed on suffering mothers.

Mr O'Sullivan wonders if the bishops will also apologise 'for the way clerics spoke about sin and the unnecessary guilt it placed on people's shoulders, the excessive piety which allowed a rich and rational faith to descend into folk religion and superstition, or for turning a blind eye to corruption among politicians and the elite of our society while excessively concentrating on the minor infractions of the poor'.