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Pope Francis' impact on Ireland eight months after World Meeting of Families

It has been eight months since Pope Francis visited Ireland for the World Meeting of Families. It was a visit filled with many memorable moments, such as celebrating Mass in Phoenix Park with thousands of people from all over the world.

However, the pope also arrived during an intense time for Ireland. The country had recently approved abortion; and the Church was once again under scrutiny for clerical sex abuse. 

For both Ireland's Holy See Ambassador and Foreign Minister for Employment Affairs, despite problems in society and the Church, Pope Francis still remains an important leader for the Irish people.

Ambassador of Ireland to the Holy See
“I think it re-emphasized the affection people have for Pope Francis. I think there may be problems with the institutional Church, on such issues such as clerical sex abuse. It has been a terrible evil, as the pope himself has said it. However, people warm very much to the pope.”

Irish Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Welfare
“We really see huge leadership. There are challenges within the Church, there are challenges in society. I think he is involved as a leader to try and address the humanitarian issues we have as an international society.”

One particular humanitarian issue Ireland shares with Pope Francis is the importance of defending the dignity of the worker. 

The pope has frequently spoken up against the exploitation of workers and the importance of “balancing both work and family life.” He even had this to say during his trip to Genoa in 2017.

“A paradox of our society is that a growing number of people would like to work and fail, and others work too much, and would like to work less, but can't because they've been 'bought' by their companies.”

Ireland has sought to ensure workers are not exploited, especially in regards to working hours, by implementing a new piece of legislation in March 2019. 

Irish Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Welfare
“It protects workers rights' from precarious employment, zero-hour contracts. There has been a degradation of workers' rights over the years.” “We brought in a new minimum wage of 9.80 euros which is the second highest in the EU.”

They have even introduced anti-penalization measures to ensure if an employee is taken advantage of they can take legal action to defend their rights.