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Dublin gets nod for World Meeting of Families


DUBLIN (SE): “The World Meeting of Families 2018 that will be held in Dublin sets out to be not just a passing or even a fleeting celebration of the ideals of the family,” Archbishop Diarmuid Martin said at the Holy See Press Office on March 30 at a presentation of a letter from Pope Francis to the organisers.

In describing it as a moment of renewal for the Church in Ireland, the archbishop of Dublin explained it will allow for a wide involvement of the laity and aim to make the role of the family understood in greater depth.

The gathering, which will take place in August next year, will run under the theme of The Gospel of the Family: Joy for the world and, Archbishop Martin said, “It will be a moment in which families can regain confidence in carrying out their mission in the context of a Church which is merciful and which accompanies them in the ups and down of their lives.”

He added that he is aware of the privilege that Pope Francis has bestowed on his archdiocese, but also acknowledges the challenge involved.

“The challenge is not just in organising a large world event, but of recalling for a modern society such as Ireland, with its complex mix of secularisation and faith, how important the family is for the future of Ireland and wider society, especially in Europe,” he explained.

In convoking the meeting, Pope Francis says in his letter, “I dream of a Church which reaches out, not a Church which is self-referential, a Church which does not pass by at a distance the hurts of humankind, a merciful Church which announces what is at the heart of the revelation of divine love, and that is mercy.”

He adds, “The family is called to be a place of encounter with that divine mercy which heals and liberates. The family is called to be the place where spouses love each other not in vague romantic terms, but in terms of their everyday realities and difficulties.”

In facing up to difficult times, he said that he believes the ability of the whole family to give of themselves generously, knowing how to forgive and reach out to understand and respect each other with patience is the way to go.

“Families need a Church which is with them, accompanying them in a process of discernment and integration though helping them to respond with a yes to the divine love,” Pope Francis says.

The gathering in Dublin will include an extensive catechesis on the meaning of conjugal love and the role of family in society, as well as an opportunity for them to bring renewal to the Church in Ireland.


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