Friday 23 March 2018

Five things you need to know about Pope Francis' Ireland visit

Pope Francis and Taoiseach Enda Kenny held talks. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini
Pope Francis and Taoiseach Enda Kenny held talks. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini
Denise Calnan

Denise Calnan

Pope Francis has confirmed that he will visit Ireland in the near future.

It is expected the Pontiff will visit the country in 2018. Here are five things you need to know about the upcoming visit:

1. Invitation

Taoiseach Enda Kenny extended the invitation to Pope Francis today in the Vatican. A meeting between the Pope and Taoiseach Enda Kenny and his wife Fionnuala lasted just under half an hour. It is understood the small group discusses the issue of migration.

2. Gifts

The Taoiseach presented Pope Francis with a print of a stained glass window by Harry Clarke. Fine Gael leader received an etching of St Peter's Basicila.

3. World Meeting

Pope Francis is expected to travel to Ireland for the World Meeting of Families in Dublin from 22-26 August 2018. The World Meeting is the world's largest Catholic gathering and is held once in every three years.

4. Plans

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin has said Irish bishops would like to include a trip to the North during any possible Irish visit by the Pope. Pope John Paull II did not visit the North in 1979 because of security reasons.

5. Government and President

The Pope's visit will take place in 2018 - which means President Michael D Higgins will be entering the final few months of his tenure. Enda Kenny should be still in the role of Taoiseach. If he had any doubts about stepping down, this could be a reason to stay on for the term of Government.

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