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Pope francis's visit to ireland

The meaning of «pope francis's visit to ireland»

Pope Francis visited Ireland on 25 and 26 August 2018, as part of the World Meeting of Families 2018.[1][2][3] It was the first visit by a reigning pontiff to the country since 1979 (though Francis had spent time studying English in Dublin in 1980, as Fr Jorge Bergoglio).[4]

Speculation that Pope Francis would visit Ireland began immediately upon the announcement on 27 September 2015 that the World Meeting of Families 2018 would be held in Dublin.[5][6]

Pope Francis confirmed he would be visiting Ireland on 21 March 2018, at the weekly general audience in St. Peter's Square.[7] Roman Catholic Primate of All Ireland Archbishop Eamon Martin and Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin announced the visit's schedule in Maynooth on the morning of 11 June 2018. The Government of Ireland also launched an official website for the papal visit on that date.[8][9]

Pope Francis was greeted by Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Affairs and Trade Minister Simon Coveney and his family.[10] He then travelled in a Škoda Rapid (his preferred mode of transport for the visit to Dublin), to Áras an Uachtaráin, where he met with President Michael D. Higgins, his wife Sabina Higgins, government minister Katherine Zappone, Ambassador of Ireland to the Holy See Emma Madigan, the Archbishop Eamon Martin, Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin, the Secretary of State of the Vatican Cardinal Pietro Parolin, and Syrian asylum seekers, amongst others.[11][12]

The Pope signed the visitors' book with the following message: "With gratitude for the warm welcome I have received. I assure you and the people of Ireland of my prayers that almighty god may guide and protect you all. Francis".[11] Pope Francis then planted a tree in the President's back garden.[11][13]

Later, he met Prime Minister Leo Varadkar, and the two had a ten-minute private meeting.[14][15]

Dignitaries present at Dublin Castle included former PMs John Bruton, Bertie Ahern and Brian Cowen,[16] former President Mary McAleese, Simon Coveney, Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin, Labour Party leader Brendan Howlin, Green Party leader Eamon Ryan, Minister for Health Simon Harris, Minister for Culture Josepha Madigan, Catherine Byrne, Richard Bruton, Senator David Norris, representatives from the Ulster Unionist Party and the Alliance Party of Northern Ireland, Moderator Dr Charles McMullen (leader of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland), disability rights activist Joanne O'Riordan, Colm O'Gorman and Marie Collins, amongst others.[17][14][18][19]

Varadkar's speech referred to what he called "the failures of both church and state" to deal with the sexual abuse scandal, as well as church involvement in the Magdalene Laundries, mother and baby homes and illegal adoptions (currently being investigated under the Mother and Baby Homes Commission of Investigation), which were "stains on our state, our society and also the Catholic church. People kept in dark corners behind closed doors, cries for help that went unheard."[20] He went on to tell the Pope that modern Ireland needed a new covenant for the 21st century to learn from "our shared mistakes".[20] Varadkar also noted far-reaching Irish social changes since the previous 1979 papal visit. He said Ireland was more diverse, less religious with modernised laws on divorce, contraception, abortion and same sex marriage "understanding that marriages do not always work, that women should make their own decisions, and that families come in many different, wonderful forms, including those headed by a grandparent, lone parent or same-sex parents, or parents who are divorced".[20]

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