Francis hopes for reconciliation among Christians in Ireland

Posted By: August 22, 2018

Irish News. Belfast. Wednesday, August 22, 2018

POPE Francis has expressed hope his visit to Ireland will help grow unity and reconciliation among Christians on the island.

In a video message released ahead of his weekend arrival, the Pope said he was excited about his two-day trip to Dublin and the Knock holy shrine in Co Mayo.

The video was released hours after it was confirmed that the Pope will meet victims of clerical sex abuse during his Irish visit.

He is coming to attend the Catholic Church’s World Meeting of Families during a packed itinerary of engagements.

The video message coincided with the opening of the major family-themed event in Dublin yesterday evening.

Thousands descended on Dublin’s RDS to attend the opening ceremony.

Prayers were said across all of Ireland’s 26 dioceses to mark the start of the event.

Church bells were rung simultaneously across the dioceses to launch the five-day Catholic Congress.

The Archbishop of Dublin welcomed the thousands of international visitors “to celebrate and foster family life.”

During the homily at the opening ceremony, Diarmuid Martin said: “There are those who would look at the World Meeting as some sort of ideological gathering to celebrate a type of family which probably does not exist.”

“Whatever of the past, here in Dublin the World Meeting is something much more profound. It is to reflect the opening words of our reading: ‘You are God’s chosen race; he loves you.’”

“The family is not a remote ideological notion but the place where compassion, kindness, gentleness, patience, and forgiveness are learned, practiced and spread.”