“The Pope hasn’t a notion of coming to Galway next year, if this is the craic we’re at. You might laugh at this but it’s true – the Catholic hierarchy sees these things and they will look at where Pope Francis is going to visit and they will see that the City Council voted to scrap the prayer before meetings and they’ll decide to go somewhere else….”
From top: Lissywollen Direct Provision centre for asylum seekers in Athlon Fr Paddy Byrne, of Portlaoise
Further to the Supreme Court decision earlier this week.
In which it unanimously decided that the ban prohibiting asylum seekers from work is unconstitutional.
Mags Gargan, in The Irish Catholic, writes:
Pope Francis has been called on to visit a direct provision centre during his expected trip to Ireland next year, in order to highlight the treatment of asylum seekers.
Fr Paddy Byrne, a curate in Portlaoise parish who ministers to the residents of the Montague Hotel, a direct provision centre in Emo, said the system is a “scandal” but it is “not on the mainstream political agenda because it is not popular”.
“The culture in Ireland, that was so vociferous in relation to the scandals of the past and how we treated our citizens in mother and baby homes, seems to be taking absolutely no cognisance of the fact that this remains a reality in this Republic in 2017.
“There are mothers and babies imprisoned in horrific conditions, and in the parish where I minister, four miles out the road you have 140 people imprisoned up to 10 years by direct provision,” he said.
“I call upon Pope Francis when he visits Ireland for the World Meeting of Families next year, to visit a direct provision centre. We have to challenge this with dramatic gestures and it would be in keeping with tradition of the Church, our theology and our pastoral care – we need to be out there on the frontline.”
The pope, who is 80, “will do everything he can”, to attend the World Meeting of Families, Cardinal Kevin Farrell, a senior Vatican official, told journalists, as he announced plans and final dates for the ninth edition of the gathering of Catholic families.
The World Meeting of Families is to take place on 21-26 August.
Francis will be the first pope to visit Ireland since John Paul II in 1979.
A friend of mine did a thing (which I found out about recently): Pope tweets. Then Robo Pope tweets back the same tweet. But in between its translated from English to Japanese back to English back to Japanese and so on. Fifteen times each way. Sometimes it’s gibberish. But sometimes a little bit funny.
Archbishops Diarmuid and Eamon Martin speaking to the media on the publication of a new Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia, The Joy of Love: On Love in the Family (published by Pope Frances today) in the Archbishop’s House, Drumcondra, Dublin
Homosexuality was another hot-button issue, and Francis took his cues from the majority view in the synods. (During the first synod, an interim report written by a committee of bishops used language that was strikingly welcoming to gay people, but it received so much criticism from other bishops at the synod that it was gone by the final report.)
Echoing the report issued by the second synod in 2015, Francis’ exhortation says that “every person regardless of sexual orientation” should be treated with respect and consideration, while “every sign of unjust discrimination is to be carefully avoided, particularly any form of aggression and violence.”
But in the next section, he states categorically that the church cannot countenance same-sex marriages or unions, citing the second synod’s final report, which said “there are absolutely no grounds for considering homosexual unions to be in any way similar remotely analogous to God’s plan for marriage and family.”
Kieran Rose, Of GLEN [Gay and lesbian Equality Network], writes:
This is a missed the opportunity to reflect and embrace the very positive changes in attitudes towards lesbian and gay people that have come about over the last 20 years in Ireland and across many parts of the world.
The Pope, as the leader of the institutional Catholic Church, could have dismantled a key element of the ‘architecture of homophobia’ which comes from the Church’s teachings on LGBT people.
The new document speaks of compassion but the message about LGBT people that it contains is still a negative one, and will be felt by many, in particular LGBT Catholics and their families, as a hurtful one.
Negative attitudes can feed a culture of hostility and as the recent LGBTIreland research showed such intolerance can cause real harm to the mental health and well-being of LGBT people, particularly young LGBTI people.
While movement on the Catholic Churches discrimination against LGBT people is progress, the challenge remains for the institutional Catholic Church not to be an agent of homophobia and transphobia.
The risk of this new document is that it will entrench views among some that LGBT people are somehow lesser and should be treated as such. This doesn’t reflect what the Irish people said last year in the marriage referendum, the majority of whom were Catholics.
Pope Francis and Presient Obama at the White House this morning
“Mr President, together with their fellow citizens, American Catholics are committed to building a society which is truly tolerant and inclusive, to safeguarding the rights of individuals and communities, and to rejecting every form of unjust discrimination.
With countless other people of good will, they are likewise concerned that efforts to build a just and wisely ordered society respect their deepest concerns and their right to religious liberty.
That freedom remains one of America’s most precious possessions. And, as my brothers, the United States Bishops, have reminded us, all are called to be vigilant, precisely as good citizens, to preserve and defend that freedom from everything that would threaten or compromise it.”
Who is Jorge Mario Bergoglio? The Pope who calls himself ‘a sinner’ is, certainly, a man of contradictions. But how did the man who was loved and loathed by his fellow Jesuits back in Argentina become Pope and can he hold the Roman Catholic Church together and reform it at the same time? In a Would You Believe special, Pope Francis – The Sinner airing tonight at 9.35pm on RTÉ One looks at the life of Jorge Mario Bergoglio and what shaped him into the Pope he is today.
“Francis has crystallised a new vision of the church that includes everybody” says Paul Vallely, the Pope’s early biographer. However, not everyone agrees and Mary McAleese, while she likes the new Pope, feels he just doesn’t get women: “there’s a blind side here…that leaves good men…like Francis still carrying a residual element of misogyny that closes them off…”