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Dublin to hold dialogue on enhancing family life

By Sarah Mac Donald - 08 December, 2014

FESTIVAL OF PEOPLESArchbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin has announced he will launch a new conversation within his diocese at the beginning of the New Year on how married and family life can be enhanced through “a renewed itinerary of faith”.

In his homily on Sunday at the annual ACCORD Christmas Mass in All Hallows College, the Archbishop said he hoped that every parish and every organisation which is concerned with the future of Christian marriage will take part in the dialogue.

He said he especially looked forward to the contribution of ACCORD members, based on their unique experience.

Paying tribute to ACCORD, the Archbishop said “It involves the support of Christian marriage and the family, marriage preparation, counselling and educational work in schools.”

The Archbishop expressed concern over the many married couples who are caught up in the superficiality of modern life and think that this is the path to happiness, “when in the end its leaves so many with a profound emptiness”.

“We can also say that there are dimensions of living married life authentically, which can only be understood in the wilderness,” he commented in a reference to the Mass readings.

He suggested that ACCORD must be that “wilderness”, a space where people can be helped and accompanied as they strip themselves of superficiality and false hopes, and become able to move to a deeper vision of what their lives are about.

Recalling the Synod in Rome on the pastoral challenges to the family which he attended on behalf of the Irish Church, he said the coming months will be an important part of the next stage of the synodal process.

“We have one year now”, Pope Francis said at the conclusion of the Synod, “to mature, with true spiritual discernment, the proposed ideas and to find concrete solutions to so many difficulties and innumerable challenges that families must confront; to give answers to the many discouragements that surround and suffocate families”.

He explained that next year, the Synod will resume its work in an Ordinary Assembly, which will take the synodal process one step further, moving from reflection on the real situation of family life to formulating pastoral responses to that situation.

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