(Vatican Radio) Ireland’s ambassador to the Holy See says Pope Francis’ speech to the diplomatic corps on Monday, serves as a reminder that we should always be thinking about peacebuilding.
Ambassador Emma Madigan, who was giving her reaction to the Pope’s annual discourse also said that it offered a message of hope despite a year that saw conflicts and terror attacks around the world.
Listen to Lydia O’Kane's interview with the Irish Ambassador to the Holy See, Emma Madigan
Ambassador Madigan who has been Ireland’s representative to the Vatican, since September 2014 noted that, “it is perhaps an anxious time to be living in the world today and to have someone like the Pope, a moral authority, a moral leader being very visible on this and saying…we want peace and we want to continue to strive for peace; I think that was very important.”
Hope in troubled times
Speaking about the aspect of hope contained in the speech, the Ambassador recalled a key theme Pope Francis discussed, that of humanitarian assistance. It is an area, she said, which is a top priority for Ireland, adding, “it recalls those elements of that overall peacebuilding; giving people back their dignity in these situations of emergency, of crisis. That is something very important to us through our overseas aid programme.”
Migration and Welcome
On the issue of migration, which was another key theme of the Pope’s Annual Address, Ambassador Madigan said, “as with many receiving countries, what we’ve been trying to do is in a way strike that balance which is absolutely creating a welcoming environment for someone who is fleeing a situation of crisis…and at the same time to balance that with looking at a long term solution…”
World Meeting of Families
In 2018, Ireland’s capital Dublin will play host to the World Meeting of Families and looking towards this event the Ambassador said that “the Pope did confirm his intention to the Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister) that he would visit Ireland in 2018. She goes on to say that there is a real sense of family in Ireland underlining, “it’s something we are very proud of, that family still holds a very special role in society.