Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has said that he intends to clarify the Irish definition of family with the Pope when he visits Ireland later this month.
Varadkar is due to meet Pope Francis at a reception in Dublin Castle during the World Meeting of Families, an event which has persistently ignored and excluded gay families.
Varadkar said that he would express “our view as a society and as a government that families come in all sorts of different forms and that includes families led by same-sex parents”.
There has been much controversy surrounding the Catholic church’s celebration of family with LGBT+ Catholics feeling excluded after an image of a same-sex couple was removed from a booklet, a move which Archbishop Diarmuid Martin has accepted responsibility for.
Last month, it became clear that LGBT+ Catholic organisations were being left out of an expo organised by World Meeting of Families due to take place in the RDS. Both We Are Church and The Global Network of Rainbow Catholics applied for an exhibition booth and both were completely ignored.
Taoiseach Varadkar said that he was “really glad” that Pope Francis would be visiting Ireland and that he also wants to speak to him about the church’s treatment of Irish children and women during a reception he will host on August 25.
“I’m not sure exactly what the detail of my interaction with him is going to be,” Varadkar said at a journalists’ briefing last Tuesday.
“[The reception at] Dublin Castle may be very short but, first of all, I will want to welcome him to Ireland and, if the opportunity arises, I will certainly want to express to him the real concerns Irish people have in relation to the legacy of the past, in relation to issues such as the church’s involvement in Magdalene laundries, mother-and-baby homes, and sexual and physical abuse.”
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