Plates fly ‘in every family’, Diarmuid Martin tells Knock Mass

Thousands gather to mark one-year countdown to World Meeting of Families in Dublin

Catholic Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin said: “Plates fly in every family. There are, however, great families who struggle, at times heroically.” File photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Catholic Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin said: “Plates fly in every family. There are, however, great families who struggle, at times heroically.” File photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

 

Why do so many people today say they believe in God but not in the Church?

That was the question posed by Catholic Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin in Knock on Monday. “Does our Church appear to the men and women of our time as the place where the lavishness of God’s love flourishes and touches hearts?” he asked.

He was speaking to thousands of pilgrims from all over Ireland during a Mass held to mark the one-year countdown to next year’s World Meeting of Families in Dublin. He preached on the theme When Plates Fly: Pope Francis on the Joys and Challenges of Family Life.

There was no family “that is ideal”, he said. “Plates fly in every family. There are, however, great families who struggle, at times heroically. The celebration of a World Meeting of Families would be hypocritical were it to be a celebration that ignored this struggle,” the Archbishop said.

“A civilization of love must involve the search for a new politics for families, a politics of care for the marginalised and those who struggle.

‘Medicine of mercy’

“Where human love fails or is imperfect, our response should not just be that of condemnation or exclusion, but one of allowing the medicine of mercy to lead people towards a more perfect love,” he said.

Married couples passed on the faith “by witnessing to the tender loving kindness of God. They do so through their mutual love as spouses - including their sexual love - and through their love of their children. Families are also called to contribute to a wider culture of loving care, which Pope Paul VI called a civilization of love,” he said.

“While in no way rejecting the value of much of modern scientific and human progress, we know well also that our global culture is still far from being a civilization of love. Think just of the violence of the past week, in Spain and Finland and in Burkina Faso - but also in our own country,” he said.

“God’s love reaches out to all. We have an obligation to preach the Gospel of love to all,” he said.