The next World Meeting of Families, planned for August 22-26, 2018, in Dublin with the theme “The Gospel of the Family, Joy of the World,” was presented today in the Vatican press office, by Monsignor Vincenzo Paglia, President of the Pontifical Council for the Family, and Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin.
It will be the first World Meeting of Families after the Synods on the Family and the release of Amoris Laetitia, the document that will be the “magna carta” of the 2018 meeting.
Monsignor Paglia pointed out the importance of reflection on Amoris Laetita in keeping with the different cultural contexts, because the Holy Father’s exhortation is not “simply an updating of family pastoral ministry,” but “a new way of living in the Church” and of “realizing that love that makes joyful the life of the People of God, of families and of society.”
He stressed that it is important to make the initiative known, not only in Ireland but throughout the world, so that all families can participate in some way. In regard to participation, he said that several thousand people are expected in the first three days of the Congress and many more for the weekend.
Monsignor Paglia indicated that the Congress will be an invitation to Europe and to the world to find strength and missionary energy “on discovering the vocation and mission of the family.”
It will also be “an invitation to choose the ‘we’ of the family, as an answer to the need of love that every man and woman has.” Likewise, that the political and civil society may find that “family spirit” that makes it possible to address “the individualist dimension that sadly is increasingly affecting religious and civil realities throughout the world.”
He concluded thanking the Church in Ireland for its commitment and added that it will be a decisive meeting for families and for the whole Church, whether Irish, European or of the whole world.
For his part, the Archbishop of Dublin recalled that the 2018 event in the city of which he is Archbishop, was announced in Philadelphia during the last World Meeting of Families and that, in last year’s Synod on the Family, Pope Francis said: “Remember that Dublin begins today.”
Archbishop Martin also pointed out that the Holy Father sees the 9th Meeting not as something isolated but as part of a process of discernment, support and encouragement of families. The Dublin event is “of the whole Church, with the hope that it is a decisive stage for the implementation of the fruits of the Synodal process and of the Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia,” and also a decisive stage in the ecclesiastical renewal that has begun in the country.