Taoiseach will invite Pope Francis to visit Ireland
Published 24/11/2016 | 02:30
Taoiseach Enda Kenny will meet with Pope Francis in the Vatican next Monday and invite him to visit Ireland in 2018.
Mr Kenny has also extended an invitation to US president-elect Donald Trump to visit this country.
Mr Kenny said he wanted the meeting with the Pontiff to tell of his support for the Irish Catholic bishop's invitation to Pope Francis to visit Ireland in 2018.
It is widely expected the Pope will travel here for the World Meeting of Families in Dublin in 2018.
Mr Kenny is to say all the courtesies of a state visit would be extended.
The Taoiseach yesterday insisted relations between Ireland and the Vatican were extremely healthy and he had regular conversations with many clergy.
This contrasts with a landmark speech about child abuse in Cloyne in July 2011, which was an unprecedented attack on "dysfunction, disconnection, elitism and narcissism" at the Vatican.
Following this the Irish Vatican embassy was closed for two years, but reopened in 2014 after Pope Francis's election.
The Taoiseach and the Pontiff are also expected to discuss Irish-Vatican relations, EU developments and migration. Mr Kenny said Mr Trump had already said he wanted to visit Ireland and that would be pursued in the future.