Archbishop Diarmuid Martin on “extraordinary” address by Pope Francis

18 Oct 2014

The Archbishop of Dublin has welcomed the publication of the final text at the closing of the Synod of Bishops in Rome this evening. Archbishop Diarmuid Martin said the text must be read in the context of Pope Francis’ extraordinary final remarks to the Synod, after which the Pope received a five minute standing ovation from those present.

Pope Francis warned Bishops of the temptation to a hostile rigidity that forces people to lock themselves into the letter of the law, he also criticised the temptation to “come down from the cross to please people and disregard the deposit of faith.” However he said there cannot be a “false sense of mercy which wants to bind up wounds without really caring for them”

Archbishop Martin said tonight “ The Pope from the very beginning wanted openness he trusted those present at the synod to take the discussions as far as they could and in all honesty. Sometimes people in the face of these challenges tended to overlook the Holy Spirit, the guarantor of the process. The biggest challenge remains; as to how in today’s complex cultural situation the church can open a dialogue with men and women and young people where they are and lead them to a better idea of the Christian understanding of marriage ; this will involve a radical rethinking of the churches pastoral care for marriage and catechises among young people.”

Archbishop Martin said Pope Francis helped everyone understand the direction in which he wished the Synod process to progress , when he mandated publication of details of the votes in the Synod Hall, paragraph by paragraph in a welcome gesture of transparency. He said this Synod has been radically different as thanks to the Pope, it has led to open dialogue and genuine debate.

The report of the Synod, described by the Vatican as a “work in progress” will be sent to all Bishops Conferences as the first working paper for next year. Archbishop Martin represented the Irish Bishops Conference at the Synod which ran for two weeks. ENDS

Further Information: Annette O Donnell , Director of Communications 087 8143462

Official translations of the full text of the Pope’s speech and the latest synod report are expected to be available here later this evening