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Archbishop Eamon Martin has today welcomed the publication of Pope Francis’ new Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia (The Joy of Love: On Love in the Family). Speaking at a press conference in Archbishop’s House in Dublin, Archbishop Eamon said “the document has a warm, distinctive and familiar style that speaks to the reality of ordinary life. It is very much in tune with the concrete realities of everyday life as lived by married couples and families. The document reflects the vision of Pope Francis in that we cannot resort to doctrine without considering the complexities of married life. The content is also challenging, and includes a call for all of us to reflect on how we live our lives.
“The Church is now asked to go out and bring the gospel to where people are at in their lives, this is in line with Pope Francis’ agenda which encourages every Catholic to be a missionary for the faith. As a Church we are used to inviting people to come to us, but from today Pope Francis urges us to reach out and offer support, at a local level, for those preparing for marriage and for those on the journey of married life.”
Archbishop Eamon continued “Pope Francis has offered us a continuity when, in his first Apostolic Exhortation of 2013, he invited the faithful of the Universal Church to embrace “The Joy of the Gospel”. Today the Holy Father calls on us to open our hearts to “The Joy of Love in the Family”. More than ever the good news of the family needs to be heard today, notwithstanding the message of the Church sometimes being countercultural in our contemporary world”.
Archbishop Eamon concluded “I encourage everyone – especially those preparing for marriage and those already married – to read this document from Pope Francis which is compassionate in tone and accessible to all.”
Notes to Editors
- Archbishop Eamon Martin is Archbishop of Armagh, Primate of All Ireland and President of the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference
- An Apostolic Exhortation is a formal reflection issued by a Pope following a Synod of Bishops. Last October in Rome Archbishop Eamon Martin of Armagh and Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin attended the Fourteenth Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops on the theme, ‘The Vocation and Mission of the Family in the Church and Contemporary World’, and this followed an Extraordinary Synod in 2014 which was themed, ‘The Pastoral Challenges of the Family in the Context of Evangalisation’. Both synods involved the participation of Synod Fathers from 190 countries. At the 2015 synod Archbishop Diarmuid Martin was elected as Rapporteur of the second of four English-speaking groups and Archbishop Eamon Martin was elected as Moderator of the third of the four English-speaking groups.
- The Catholic Church in Ireland is now preparing for the 9th World Meeting of Families which will take place in Dublin in 2018. Archbishop Diarmuid Martin attended the 8th World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia last September. Held every three years, and coordinated by the Pontifical Council for the Family, the World Meeting of Families is the largest gathering of Catholic families and it celebrates family life and the Church’s commitment to support families.
- In Ireland, as around the world, publications by Pope Francis are very popular. Pope Francis’ first Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium (The Joy of the Gospel), published in 2013, has to date sold over 23,000 copies in Ireland. In 2015 Pope Francis’ encyclical letter on care for our common home Laudato Si’ (Praise Be To You) was published and has sold over 15,000 copies in Ireland.
For media contact: Catholic Communications Office Maynooth: Martin Long 00353 (0) 86 172 7678.