Church and State

Bishops have 'constructive' meeting with Varadkar and ministers

The agenda for the meeting included the Eighth Amendment and the possibility of a visit to Ireland by Pope Francis.

90516209 Taoiseach and Fine Gael leader Leo Varadkar Leah Farrell / Leah Farrell / /

A DELEGATION OF bishops and officials from the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference held a two-hour meeting with ministers at Government Buildings in Dublin today.

This was the first such meeting to take place under the Church-State structured dialogue process with Leo Varadkar as Taoiseach.

The church delegation was led by Archbishop Eamon Martin of Armagh and Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin, the president and vice-president respectively of the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference.

The agenda for the meeting included the World Meeting of Families 2018 – an international Catholic conference set to take place in Dublin next year; the possibility of a visit to Ireland by Pope Francis; education issues; the Eighth Amendment and Northern Ireland, among other topics.

After the meeting, Archbishop Eamon Martin said: “We had a constructive discussion with the Taoiseach and his ministers today, and we focused on issues which are fundamental to sustaining the common good of Irish life.

I believe that regular Church-State dialogue is in the interest of everyone and reflects a truly pluralist society.

Varadkar tweeted that the meeting went well, saying faith communities have an “important place in Irish life”.

Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald, Health Minister Simon Harris, Education Minister Richard Bruton, Social Protection Minister Regina Doherty and Transport Minister Shane Ross also attended the meeting.

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