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Francis offers take-aways from his Ireland trip: A comforting experience

POPE FRANCIS GENERAL AUDIENCE
Antoine Mekary | ALETEIA | I.MEDIA
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Also leads faithful in praying a Hail Mary for more Irish vocations to the priesthood

Today during his customary Wednesday general audience, Pope Francis offered his take-aways from his trip last weekend to Dublin for the World Meeting of Families.

Here’s some of what he said:

~

The thousands of families – couples, grandparents, children – gathered in Dublin, with all the variety of their languages, cultures and experiences, were an eloquent sign of the beauty of God’s dream for the entire human family.

God’s dream is unity, harmony and peace, in families and in the world, the fruit of the fidelity, forgiveness and reconciliation that He has given us in Christ.

Think carefully about this: what God wants is for nobody to be alone, nobody to be unwanted, nobody to be excluded.

The love of marriage is a special gift from God, to be cultivated every day in the “domestic church” that is the family. How much the world is in need of a revolution of love, a revolution of tenderness, to save us from the current throwaway culture! And this revolution begins in the heart of the family.

The World Meeting of Families in Dublin was a prophetic, comforting experience of many families committed to the Gospel way of marriage and family life; disciples and missionary families, a leaven of goodness, holiness, justice and peace.

We forget many families – many! – who carry forward their own family, their children, with fidelity, asking for forgiveness when there are problems. We forget because today it is in vogue in magazines and newspapers to speak in this way: “He got divorced from her… That one from this one… And the separation…”. But please: this is ugly. It is true: I respect each person, I must respect people, but the ideal is not divorce, the ideal is not separation. The ideal is the united family. Ahead in this way: this is the ideal!

~

As well, the Holy Father mentioned specifically the problem Ireland faces with a lack of priests.

“In Ireland there is faith, there are people of faith: a faith with deep roots,” he said, but this faith “does not succeed” in giving vocations to the priesthood.

This, he said, is because of the problems of the various forms of abuse, also by members of the Church, and the inadequate handling of the abuse by Church authorities.

“We must pray that the Lord send holy priests to Ireland, that He send new vocations,” Francis said, leading the faithful in a Hail Mary to Our Lady of Knock. “Lord Jesus, send us holy priests,” he prayed.

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