Future Families Report – June 2018

13/06/2018Print This Post

PRESS RELEASE                                                                                                                                           13 June 2018

Association of Catholics in Ireland

ACI challenges the WMOF to reflect the realities of family life today.

The ACI Future Families conference report calls for recognition of the families who feel marginalised and unwanted by the Church and for compassion to be shown to them at the World Meeting of Families in August.

The Association of Catholics in Ireland (ACI) have issued a comprehensive report on the proceedings of their conference Future Families: Challenges for Faith and Society, held in anticipation of the World Meeting of Families 2018 planned for Dublin in August. The conference was held on 14th April at the Hilton Hotel, Dublin. At this public event, speakers and delegates examined the realities of family life, particularly for those who feel abandoned by, or alienated from, the Church because of their circumstances. Focus groups discussed a wide range of topics including:

Treatment of non-traditional families; Divorced and separated families in the church; Church’s treatment of LGBTQI people and families; Child sex abuse; Catholic priests’ secret families; Sexuality, celibacy and priesthood.

Among the significant challenges to the WMOF voiced by the participants were:

  • More support and less condemnation of divorced or separated couples. Recognition of the messy realities of human relationships, e.g. trying to raise children in the faith while parents denied Eucharist.
  • Same-sex families to be included in speaker schedule. A special forum welcoming the LGBT community and their families, listening to their stories and restating the emphasis on inclusion in the Church as propagated by Pope Francis.
  • Child abuse victims to be represented at Congress events. Pope Francis to offer a public apology for the Church’s cover-up.
  • Wives/partners and children of priests: Priests to have the right to choose to be married or not. Priests to take responsibility for actions. A workshop to be held at the WMOF.
  • Who is funding the WMOF? Dismay and anger at the changes to the brochure and promotional video, understood to be at the behest of groups outside Ireland.
  • On the 50th anniversary of ‘Humanae Vitae’, a teaching not accepted by the people of God, an acknowledgement that this was an error and needs to be changed.
  • Need for women speakers at WMOF: Of the 18 speakers announced only 2 are women, who may be married. 16 are cardinals and bishops. How can they be the main speakers at an event for families? 50% of speakers should be women.
  • Our Church should be a beacon of hope for all people and should be a trail-blazer in promoting the acceptance of all God’s creation in society. The WMOF to be truly inclusive, where ‘all are welcome’.

Conference Report

The conference report has been sent to the organising committee of the World Meeting of Families as a contribution to meeting Pope Francis’ wish for the event to be inclusive and to reflect the reality of life for families today; to Pope Francis in Rome; to the Irish Bishops and to the Papal Nuncio.

A copy of the report is attached below for your information.


The Association of Catholics in Ireland (ACI) is committed to the pursuit of a reform and renewal agenda in the Irish Catholic Church based in the spirit of Vatican II. It is committed to helping to re-build (through words and deeds) a united Church based on the teachings of Jesus Christ – a Church that is inclusive, compassionate, accepts the equality of all believers by virtue of their baptism and acknowledges its failures.

For further information contact: Anthony Neville at 086 8112715 or Noel McCann at 087 9274379 – or email info@acireland.ie.

To read the full Future Families report, click the button below.

ACI Report Future Families. Final


to “Future Families Report – June 2018”
  1. Aidan Hart says:

    I agree with most of the press statement and find it clearly expressed and comprehensive.

    However it mentions the “Need for women speakers at WMOF: Of the 18 speakers announced only 2 are women, who may be married. 16 are cardinals and bishops.”

    What about lay men? Who is representing them? This ACI report has made the mistake, often made by women and clerics, that clerics are the representatives of all men and therefore only women are left unrepresented in Church committees of various sorts and levels. Celibate priests cannot be truly representative of lay men; their vocation, culture, priorities, responsibilities, and needs are quite different. Parish, diocesan and Vatican representative councils, to be truly representative of the universal Church, should (where possible) always include nuns, single and married women, clerics and single and married men. Since the WMOF is about families, the majority of the speakers at this meeting should have been husbands and wives with families and expertise in the particular field being addressed.

    If there was to be a world-wide meeting of clergy would the majority of chosen speakers be lay people? I think not!

  2. Martin Murray says:

    A Religion News Service article states that “In Germany, as in the United States, the population includes a large number of ‘mixed marriages’ — Catholics married to Christians from other traditions. Many German non-Catholics regularly attend Mass with their spouses and want to receive Communion. Current rules, however, bar Protestants from doing so except within tightly prescribed circumstances.” See
    This is an important issue for many families in Ireland too and should be highlighted at the WMoFs. The Irish Bishops should work with the German Bishops to demand change.

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