Grace on the Margins: During the World Meeting of Families last week, signs that Ireland has indeed moved on from the church of their childhood years could be seen clearly in Dublin's streets, and heard in the voices of the taxi drivers who navigate them.
Dublin -- Pope Francis began his two-day trip to Ireland by acknowledging that Catholic leaders in the country failed over decades to protect children from sexual abuse by priests and clergy, saying bishops and superiors had caused what he termed "grave scandal."
Grace on the Margins: If World Meeting of Families organizers had any hope of playing down LGBTQ issues in the church, LGBTQ Catholic activists and their allies dashed those aspirations this week in Dublin.
World Meeting of Families: Cardinal Kevin Farrell, head of the Vatican's Dicastery for Laity, the Family and Life, said the church needs God to help it build bridges, to communicate and to help it understand that "we need to speak to each other and accept each other as children of God."
Catholics gathered at "Voices Pope Francis Will Not Hear" to discuss topics and people excluded from the international gathering, including marginalization of women and LGBT persons, and the abuse scandal.
Despite Irish Catholics' many misgivings about the sexual abuse scandals in the church and the treatment of women and LGBT people, there is much enthusiasm for the ninth World Meeting of Families, scheduled to take place Aug. 21-26 in Dublin.
An Irish group campaigning for reform in the Catholic Church has launched a petition ahead of Pope Francis' papal visit in August to Ireland calling on the Vatican to change its "theological language that is gravely insulting to LGBTQI people."