During their Winter 2018 General Meeting in Saint Patrick’s College, Maynooth, bishops welcomed the publication of A Word of Truth and Hope, a series of reflections inspired by Pope Francis’ 2016 Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia (The Joy of Love).
Bishops affirmed that the vocation of the sacrament of marriage and family life enriches the life of the Church and the whole world. A Word of Truth and Hope was prepared by the Council for Marriage and the Family of the Bishops’ Conference, published by Veritas. It proposes a vision for the family which might shape our response as people of faith and as citizens to the diverse needs and challenges experienced in families in Ireland today. Many of the questions addressed in the reflections are the same questions which exercised the Government’s Commission on the Family between 1995 -1998. The primary objective of that Commission was to examine how public policy could best support and help families in the changing demographics of the day. While the reflections are motivated by faith in Jesus Christ, the same truth is the goal both of reason and faith. This reflection on the family is an expression of our Christian commitment and an urgent appeal, both to Christians and to all people of good will, to actively pursue what Pope Saint Paul VI so often referred to as a ‘civilisation of love’.
Bishops encourage the use of A Word of Truth and Hope as a helpful resource to clergy, teachers, pastoral groups and anyone in Ireland involved in the formation of public policy.
A Word of Truth and Hope was launched yesterday at Saint Patrick’s College, Maynooth, following the celebration of Mass in Saint Mary’s Oratory with members of the Bishops’ Conference and members of the Council for Marriage and the Family.
The bishops’ Council for Marriage and the Family supports the ministry of clergy in their service of marriage and family life. The Council, in the spirit of Pope Francis, focuses on: the mission of discipleship in the local churches, a culture of welcome for families in the Church, spiritual and pastoral care, and, approaches which support family life with all its challenges. The Council seeks to offer a vision of marriage that contributes to the well-being of marriage and family life in Ireland in the context of supportive policies in community and civic life, the development of a sound and flourishing social fabric and in building the common good.