(Vatican Radio) At the end of the Mass ending the 2015 World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia last Sunday It was announced the next World Meeting of Families will take place in Dublin in 2018.
This will bring the Meeting to Ireland, a country famous for its devout Catholicism, but which is also experiencing many of the crises facing the modern family.
“I think it is an ideal place in Europe to reflect on many of the challenges facing the family, and what the Church, what the Church’s Magisterium, what the Holy Father has to say about the family and these challenges,” said Michael Kelly, the editor of The Irish Catholic, a weekly Catholic newspaper.
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“I think it is an ideal place in Europe to reflect on many of the challenges facing the family, and what the Church, what the Church’s Magisterium, what the Holy Father has to say about the family and these challenges,” he told Vatican Radio.
Ireland presents many challenges for the Church in the 21st century. It recently became the first country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage through a popular vote. Families also suffered greatly in the post-2008 economic crisis, which led to levels of unemployment and emigration not seen on the island in decades.
“The Church is not deaf to the concerns that people have in their families – to the difficulties people have in their families – be that issues of migration, be that issues of family breakdown, be it economic pressure during a recession which obviously adds immense pressure to families,” Kelly said.
He said the Meeting of Families will also be good for the entire continent.
“Europe perhaps more than any other part of the world is the forefront at attempts to redefine how to understand the family, with things like gender theory, radical concepts which run completely contrary to the Church’s understanding of the family, and the traditional anthropological understanding of the family,” Kelly said.
Despite this, he said the Meeting of Families gives the Church an opportunity to present its views in a positive manner.
“I think it’s a chance for the Church to articulate that in a culture that has changed very dramatically…a lot of Irish people, even many people who profess themselves as practicing Catholics, have a radically different understanding of the family than that which the Church proposes,” he said.