28 June 2022, The Tablet

Archbishop expresses solidarity with struggling families

Archbishop expresses solidarity with struggling families

The leader of the Irish church has expressed solidarity with families who are struggling after listening to testimonies given at the World Meeting of Families in Rome.

Archbishop Eamon Martin, who led the Irish delegation, said he was “thinking of a lot of families who are struggling at this time and praying for them”.

The testimonies of the various families who spoke about their lives had given “a sense of the struggles of family, the pain of family, but also the joy of family and the tremendous commitment and dedication between parents and children which really makes family work”.

Another member of the Irish delegation, Fr Timothy Bartlett of Down and Connor diocese, who served as Secretary General of the 9th World Meeting of Families in Dublin in 2018, said he found the family testimonies very moving, “particularly the family from Ukraine and the Italian family here who welcomed them into their home”.

Another testimony revealed how a family who had come close to breaking up permanently through divorce had found a way back from that.  

“I think the choice of family testimonies was very typical of Pope Francis in that they were very real but behind all of them was a message of great hope,” Fr Bartlett said.

Delegates from Ireland also took part in the Pastoral Congress which was an integral part of 10th World Meeting of Families.

Deirdre O’Rawe, Regional Director of Accord Northern Ireland Marriage Care Service, said the congress had highlighted the point made by Pope Francis in Amoris Laetitia that no family drops down from Heaven perfectly formed.

She said the presentations also spoke of the need to work collaboratively and of co-responsibility. “The need for the priest and married couples and the laity to work together – not one without the other, but together so that we can achieve the mission of the Church.”


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