(Vatican Radio) A special conference on Pope Francis and the Future of the Family in Ireland was held on Saturday in Dublin.
Sponsored by the newspaper The Irish Catholic, the speakers included the Primate of All-Ireland and Archbishop of Armagh Eamon Martin, and Apostolic Nuncio Archbishop Charles Brown.
The conversation looked at the Synod process on the Family. Archbishop Martin attended the 2015 Synod, and told the participants what the bishops brought back from Rome.
“Despite a concentration in the early days of the Synod on the pastoral challenges to family, there was also a great sense of admiration and gratitude for the many families who do their best in very complex situations to persevere, to grow in love, and to generously witness to commitment, forgiveness and lifelong faithfulness,” he said.
“The overwhelming sense among the bishops at the Synod was a desire to be with all families, and especially with those whose homes are visited by tragedy or violence, and those who, for whatever reason, have experienced breakdown in their relationships, and some who feel excluded from the Church,” Archbishop Martin continued.
“The Synod was clear that we need to be mindful of those who have begun new relationships and unions, and find sincere, merciful, and truthful ways of welcoming and including them in the life and worshipping community of the Church,” he said.
“What do we do in these situations, The Synod asked. Do we sit outside and judge?” Archbishop Martin asked. “Or do we accompany all our people, presenting the truth and joy of the Gospel in a loving charitable way. So the Synod proposed pastoral discernment and accompaniment in difficult situations.”