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From We Are Church - Ireland

March13th 2016 marks the third anniversary of the accession of Cardinal Bergoglio to the Papacy as Pope Francis. His informal address to the assembled crowds in St. Peter’s Square on that historic evening endeared him to the hearts of all Christians and people of good will . He laid out his mission statement for the future of the Catholic Church on November 24th 2013 in his inspirational letter ‘Evangelii Gaudium’. In May 2015 another major development occurred with his issuing of his encyclical on the future of our world, ‘Laudato Si’.

Within a month of his election he set up The Council of Cardinal Advisors and a year later the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors. Pope Francis has adopted a synodal approach in the implementation of his programme for change exemplified by his calling of the Synod of the family in 2014 and 2015. His major impact has been his emphasis on the social justice message of the Gospel taking the side of the marginalised and the dispossessed of society.

However, many women are offended by his refusal to recognise their God-given equality with men in the Church. After three years of his pontificate we are still awaiting the practical implementation of his vision as outlined in ‘Evangelii Gaudium’. There is no doubt that he is receiving both subtle and open opposition as he attempts any meaningful change both to Catholic Church structures and non- dogmatic doctrine.

‘We call on all Catholics especially those Vatican Cardinals who are resisting change to support Pope Francis. The forthcoming publication on how he intends to implement the recommendations of the 2014/15 Synod of the family will undoubtedly be seen as the watershed of his Pontificate’, stated Brendan Butler spokesperson, We are Church Ireland .

Further Information : Brendan Butler , 0864054984