Autistic children focused on by Church in State dialogue

Autistic children focused on by Church in State dialogue Archbishop Diarmuid Martin

The Archbishop of Dublin raised the “challenges faced by parents of children with autism” during closed Government talks last week.

The plenary meeting of the Church-State dialogue included 28 representatives of Churches, Faith Communities and Non-Confessional Organisations.

According to the Archdiocese of Dublin their delegates “spoke on respect for and protection of the specific contribution of believers in a pluralist society, on the role of Church organisations like in drawing attention to the challenges of integration and fostering inclusive communities”.

“They spoke of the difficult process of moving towards a greater pluralism in school patronage. Archbishop Martin spoke specifically on the challenges faced by parents of children with autism.”

The dialogue took place in Dublin Castle last Thursday. The three-and-a-half hour meeting was structured under the following three themes: effective structured dialogue, inclusive and diverse communities, and education.

Attendees included Hindu and Buddhist representatives, six Islamic groups, Atheist Ireland, the Humanist Association of Ireland and over a dozen Christian Churches.

There was a furore surrounding the plenary meeting after Taoiseach Leo Varadkar made offensive comments in the Dáil last Wednesday, the day before talks. He likened Micheál Martin to a hypocritical sinning priest.

He apologised and retracted the statement in an address to the media just before beginning the dialogue after huge backlash.