Cardinal hopes for papal visit to Ireland
CARDINAL Sean Brady wants the Pope to come to Ireland.
"I hope and pray that Pope Francis will come to Ireland at some stage," Dr Brady told the Irish Independent yesterday.
His comments come after the Seanad passed a motion in January to invite the Pope, with Senator David Norris saying he "would lift the spirit of Ireland".
The cardinal's statement is seen as a significant move in extending an invitation to the head of the Vatican state because of the protocol surrounding such an event.
Sources said an invitation was a "three-part process" beginning with an "indication from the Bishops' Conference".
The source also stated "that this type of activity is carried out on the basis of positive indications emerging all around", but said that an invitation would only be extended if the answer was "known in advance".
Cardinal Brady's comment comes as Ireland reopens its Holy See embassy. The details of a visit would be discussed by diplomats in the Vatican, then the Irish State would make the official invitation.
President Higgins, as head of State, would invite Pope Francis as the head of the Holy See. It has been noted that Mr Higgins has quoted the Pope in some of his addresses.