The new Catholic Archbishop of Dublin has described the current time, with the crisis that is the global pandemic, and many crises confronting the church with all its frustration and fear, as "rich with possibilities".

He was speaking at a mass to celebrate his installation as Catholic Archbishop of Dublin, which took place at St Mary's Pro Cathedral this morning.

Dermot Farrell said what people do in the coming months and years, how they live out of these challenges and opportunities, will define who they really are as a people of faith. 

Among those in attendance at the installation were his predecessor Archbishop Diarmuid Martin and His Excellency Archbishop Jude Thaddeus Okolo, Apostolic Nuncio to Ireland.

In his homily Archbishop Farrell said that he stood before people today more than aware of his own inadequacies. But he said that he is happy to embrace this new mission. 

"This time both in the crisis that is the global pandemic, and in the many crises confronting the Church this very time, with all its frustration and fear, is rich with possibilities", he said.

He said that what we do in the coming months and years, how we live out of these challenges and opportunities, will define who we really are as a people of faith. 

He also paid tribute to former Archbishop Martin, and expressed his gratitude to him.

He said that Archbishop Martin provided forceful and unambiguous leadership, especially in the safeguarding of children where he took "courageous positions". 

Archbishop Farrell said the Church and wider society owe Archbishop Martin a profound debt of gratitude, and he said the Church must do everything, as he put it, to "never to slip back".

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He said there are many challenges ahead, but sees them as a time of grace and opportunity. 

He said they need to focus on vocations and the priesthood and the re-organisation of parishes, because the numbers of priests in the Archdoicese is not what it was.

While he can't read the future, he said, he is the sort of person who will deal with whatever issues come up. 

He said some may be difficult but he said the big thing with any issue is to face up to them and deal with them as best you can. 

He said he hoped the Government will move as quickly as possible to develop legislation to provide information to mothers and children that were born in Mother-and-Baby Homes and county homes, adding that the church will certainly be prepared to make records available.

He said that while there were issues there he wasn't sure that the Government would  to people who want them. 

He said he is always happy to meet victims of any abuse that has happened, adding that that is part of the ministry of a bishop.