World Meeting of Families to open new dialogue about marriage: Irish Cardinal

World Meeting of Families to open new dialogue about marriage: Irish Cardinal Cardinal Kevin Farrell and Archbishop Diarmuid Martin at WMOF conference

An Irish cardinal has said the World Meeting of Families (WMOF) will “prepare couples for the reality of marriage”.

There are also hopes it will rejuvenate the Church in Ireland.

Cardinal Kevin Farrell returned to Dublin, his home city, for a keynote address at the beginning of a three-day conference attended by delegates from all over the world on June 1.

The Pope’s Apostolic Exhortation, Amoris Laetitia, is intended to be central to discussions during the five-day WMOF, beginning on August 21 next year.

Literally translating to ‘the joy of love’ Cardinal Farrell said the document is a “changing point”.

“It’s the beginning of a new process, and I see the World Meeting of Families as the beginning of a process not as an end of an event.

“It would be my hope that we would spend more attention to dealing with preparing couples for married life, and for family, rather than fixating on the difficulties and fixating on the challenges.”


There has been criticism that Amoris Laetitia could pave the way to relativism in the Church, and that it may not give a firm direction, particularly regarding divorcees. Cardinal Farrell said he doesn’t believe it changes any teachings, but that “not all marriages work out”.

“It’s more a question of accompanying people in difficulties and not putting them out of Church because they may not be able to participate fully at this particular moment,” he said.


In relation to rejuvenating the Church in Ireland he said it is his hope that the WMOF would do that, but “there is no miracle pill”, and it would be a long term project.

“God is love and this is all about love, and that’s what we hope to get across,” he added.

Cardinal Farrell is currently the most senior Irish person in the Vatican. He was ordained in 1978 and after a colourful service, including being auxiliary bishop of Washington and Bishop of Dallas, he was created Cardinal last November by Pope Francis.