Pope John Paul II in Dublin: September 1979

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Pope John Paul IIPope John Paul II’s visit to Ireland in 1979 was seen as an acknowledgement of the strong faith of the Irish by the Vatican. The Papal Mass in the Phoenix Park on Saturday 29th September 1979 was the largest single public gathering in the history of the state.  In 1979 95.1% of the population of the Republic of Ireland was Catholic. In 2018, 78.3% consider themselves to be Catholic. During the Mass at the Phoenix Park, Pope John Paul II addressed and advised on the challenges he feared Ireland would face. He warned against the corrosive effect of consumerism and emphasised the indissolubility of marriage.

View Pope John Paul II in Dublin Image Gallery.

 

Pope Francis will visit a very different country in 2018. Divorce and Same Sex Marriage is legalized and the 8th Amendment has been repealed. The Irish economy has boomed (and busted) on a scale scarcely imaginable in 1979. Catholicism is still the dominant religion in Ireland but it is in decline. This image gallery documents Pope John Paul II’s visit to Dublin in September 1979.

This image gallery was created for Dublin City Public Libraries by Cindy Valdivia who carried out an internship at the Dublin City Library and Archive in 2018 while completing an M.Phil in Public History and Cultural Heritage in Trinity College, Dublin.

 

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