- Published: 25.08.2018.
Pope Francis visited Ireland on the occasion of the World Meeting of Families
On the 25th and 26th of August 2018. Pope Francis visited Ireland on the occasion of the World Meeting of Families which was held in Dublin. Even though his visit was not an official visit to Ireland, it did contain all of the elements of an official visit. For Ireland, a country very much considered to be exceptionally Catholic in the past and even until recently, this was the first time since 1979, when John Paul II came, to have had the opportunity to host the head of the Catholic Church. The Holy Father was received with all the honours by President Higgins and Taoiseasch Varadkar welcomed the Pope at the Dublin Castle together with the representatives of all the spheres of the Irish society. Both Pope Francis and Taoiseasch Varadkar held very emotional speeches. Pope Francis participated in the programme of the World Meeting of Families which took place in the historic sporting venue, Croke Park stadium, where Irish national sports such as hurling and gaelic football are played. The theme of the World Meeting of Families was "The Gospel of the Family: Joy for the World" and the delegation of the Croatian Bishops" Conference participated in the events, led by the Bishop of Dubrovnik Mato Uzinic, the president of the Council for life and family; Fr. Marinko šljivic, a member of the same Council of the Croatian Bishops" Conference and head of the Dubrovnik Diocesan Council for Life and Family; Petar Krešimir Hodžic, head of the Office of the Croatian Bishops" Conference for Life and Family; and Zrinka Gregov, the secretary of the Council of the Croatian Bishops" Conference for Life and Family. On the 25th of August a Mass was held at St Theresa"s Church in Dublin for the delegation and the Croatian Catholic Community in Ireland to mark the occasion. Bishop Mato Uzinic lead the Mass and Ambassador Mašina attended it with his family. After the Mass a friendly gathering was organised by the Croatian Catholic Community in Dublin. On Sunday, the 26th of August 2018. Pope Francis gave a Mass at Phoenix Park which was also attended by the Ambassador and his family.