The WMOF’s opening ceremony took place that evening in Dublin and in all the dioceses of the country, and has for its theme “The joy of love in families is also the joy of the Church.” Three days of pastoral congress are following, centered on Pope Francis’ Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia.
The international event culminates with the arrival of Pope Francis on Saturday, Aug. 25, who will attend the Family Festival that evening, and the grand concluding Mass at Phoenix Park on August 26.
In a briefing in the Holy See Press Office this week, the Press Office Director, Greg Burke confirmed the Pope will meet with sex abuse victims privately in Ireland, and that details will be released only afterward.
Burke also noted that Pope Francis has been in Ireland before to study English for two months in 1980. However, all his speeches over the weekend in the country will be in Italian.
Last evening, Aug. 22, Pope Francis sent a videomessage ahead of his Ireland visit, in which he said: “I am excited at the thought of returning to Ireland!” Today, the Pope tweeted: “We must protect the #Family. Our future depends on it.”
The Pope’s videomessage can be viewed here: https://zenit.org/articles/ireland-pope-francis-sends-video-in-advance-of-visit/