Archbishop Diarmuid Martin has said he accepts responsibility for the dropping of references to same-sex relationships from the World Meeting of Families' promotional material.

The archbishop said he did not personally decide to expunge the positive messages to LGBTI people, but insisted that the global meeting will still welcome everyone.

Dr Martin was speaking at the launch of the programme for the Festival of Families in Croke Park, one of the highpoints of Pope Francis' visit.

The three-hour festival is scheduled for the first evening of the pontiff’s two-day visit to Ireland.

The core of the creative team at its helm has already earned its spurs at the GAA headquarters by staging the landmark opening ceremony for the 2003 Special Olympics and the Laochra Festival commemorating the centenary of the 1916 Rising.

Pope Francis will sit just above the level of the audience and among the crowd rather than on the main stage.

Among the 2,000-plus performers will be the Bolivian dance troupe, 'Alma Bolivia'.

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Dressed in indigenous and hispanic costumes at the launch, they said it was important for them as Catholics to attend the World Meeting, which is staged every three years by their church.

They will add a particularly apt Latin American touch to the three-hour celebration of Pope Francis' teaching.

It is a teaching which an Irish-American bishop, David O’Connell of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, interpreted in a promotional video that was published, but then dropped by the organisers, as supporting same-sex couples.

In the original version of the video, called 'Amoris: Let's talk Family! Let's be Family!' the bishop says that "Pope Francis gets it".

He goes on to explain that the pontiff recognises the different configurations of families today, including single parents or a gay couple raising children. 

At today's launch Dr Martin said he did not censor Bishop O'Connell's statement.

Asked at a news conference who was responsible, he said: "I must say, if it happened in the World Meeting of Families I take responsibility as the person in charge if mistakes were made. I take responsibility for those. But I take that responsibility by ensuring that the main thrust of the Meeting is what it is (to welcome everybody)".

However, the Vatican's point-man for the World Meeting, Cardinal Kevin Farrell, has already said he did not drop the gay couple reference from the WMOF18 material.

And despite the deepening mystery surrounding who did, Dr Martin emphasises that everybody will be welcome to attend the Meeting's events between 21 and 26 August.