[ACNS, by Gavin Drake] The Anglican Archbishop of Dublin and Glendalough, Michael Jackson, has welcomed the announcement by the Vatican this morning that the Roman Catholic Church’s next World Meeting of Families will be held in Dublin in 2018. It will be the ninth such meeting to have taken place – the last one was in Philadelphia in 2015.
The conference, under the theme “The Gospel of the Family: Joy for the World”, will take its inspiration from Pope Francis’ recent Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia – “The Joy of Love.” The Catholic Archbishop of Dublin, Diarmuid Martin, was at this morning’s Vatican press conference. He told journalists that “the World Meeting of Families in Dublin will hopefully be a festival of witness to the love of God revealed in Jesus Christ. The vocation of Christian couples, supported by the Sacrament of Marriage, is a call to witness to that love and to experience the joy of bringing the love of Jesus to those who are troubled and challenged,” he said.
“I should like to wish everything that is best to our brothers and sisters in Christ in the Roman Catholic tradition, both in Dublin and more widely across Ireland, as they begin preparations in earnest for The World Meeting of Families in 2018,” Archbishop Michael Jackson said in response to the announcement.
“This is an event of international proportions and of considerable significance right across society in general. Wherever people congregate and share lives, issues associated with family life, care and nurture are always to the fore. I congratulate Archbishop Diarmuid Martin with whom I have had the pleasure of working for almost six years in these dioceses and also Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia [head of the Pontifical Council for the Family] who is a friend for more than a decade through the Community of St Egidio in Rome.
“The World Meeting of Families intends to open wide its doors in generosity of invitation to all interested parties. We in the Church of Ireland tradition recollect with great joy the ways in which we were included in The International Eucharistic Congress and pledge our willingness to assist in any ways that our brothers and sisters in Christ think may be helpful.”
The Pope has expressed his desire to attend the World Meeting of Families but confirmation of whether or not he will be able to attend will only be made a few months prior to the conference.
The major three-day conference will hear from a range of international speakers on challenges facing families. In addition to key-note speeches there will be group discussions “on a wide range of theological, spiritual, social and scientific questions on the place of the family in today’s word,” a statement from the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference said.
- This story was corrected on 24 May. The original story described the Archbishop of Dublin and Glendalough as the Primate of Ireland. That role is held by the Archbishop of Armagh.