Pope Francis faces Church modernisation challenges, says Irish President

Irish President Higgins

Irish President Michael D Higgins believes Pope Francis faces a significant challenge in reforming the Catholic Church to be more inclusive, particularly towards women and the LGBTQ+ community.

President Higgins (pictured with Pope Francis) expressed these sentiments after a private audience with the pontiff in the Vatican’s library.

“He faces grave difficulties in the institution of which (he) is head. I get a sense of that nearly every time I meet him. But his heart is in the right place” President Higgins told reporters.

Pope Francis is “reaching out to people in the LGBT community” and “those who feel that they haven’t been labelled as Catholics” Mr Higgins continued.

Despite these challenges, the President commended the Pope for having a compassionate approach to addressing these issues.

“His heart is open, and he refers to that very often.”

Signals of reform

The meeting came as the Vatican held a synod assembly about the church’s future that is being closely watched for signals of reform.

Higgins stressed the importance of the ongoing synod and its potential outcomes. He advocated for a thoughtful consideration of the roles of both male and female believers in a changing Church.

President Higgins observed that the Pope is facing a challenging internal battle within the Church to guide it towards reform. However, there seems to be an opportunity for transformation.

The Irish President also highlighted that Pope Francis has reintroduced individuals into the discourse who were previously excluded for far too long. Many people within the Church have been profoundly affected by these exclusions and their voices deserve to be heard.

“Look at the people he has allowed back into the discussion” he continued.

“There are people who have been excluded from the discourse that should have been long, long back and there are people who’ve been deeply wounded by this.”


The Irish Times

CathNews New Zealand


Additional reading

News category: World.

Tags: , , , ,