Dublin: Thousands of people are expected to attend the World Meeting of Familes which starts in Dublin on Wednesday and culminates in an open-air mass celebrated by Pope Francis in the Phoenix Park on Sunday.
The event will hear from a variety of speakers on issues such as family, homelessness, migrants and refugees, safety in the digital age and marriage.
Primate of All Ireland and Archbishop of Armagh, Eamon Martin is delivering the keynote address at 2.30pm. The theme of his talk is “The Welfare of the Family is Decisive for the Future of the World”. Archbishop Martin replaces Archbishop of Washington Cardinal Donald Weurl who withdrew from his scheduled appearance.
He had been heavily criticised for his handling of child sexual abuse allegations in the Pennsylvania grand jury report. Cardinal Wuerl was bishop of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, from 1988 to 2006. The report of the grand jury, which was published last week, found “wholesale institutional failure that endangered the welfare of children” in Pittsburgh.
On Tuesday, Archbishop Diarmuid Martin greeted families in the “variety of their expressions” at the opening prayer service of the event.
“There are some who would look at the world meeting as some sort of ideological rally to celebrate a type of family which probably does not exist,” he said, but added that the event was, in fact, much more profound.
The crowds streaming into the opening service were a mixture of nationalities and profiles – clergy and older members of the church walked alongside young families pushing prams.
source: the irish times