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.